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Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: Juvenile (12) - School shooting
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: October 21, 2013
Date of birth: 2001
Victim profile: Michael Landsberry, 45 (teacher)
Method of murder: Shooting (Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic handgun)
Location: Sparks, Washoe County, Nevada, USA
Status: Committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head the same day
photo gallery
Jose Reyes: A Profile (4 pp - 477 Kb)

The school shooting by Reyes has not received much attention, but it has particular interest because of his extreme youth. He committed his attack at age 12, making him the second youngest rampage attacker I am aware of, after Drew Golden, who was 11. Note: since the attack by Reyes, another 12-year-old, Mason Campbell, committed a school shooting. Of these young shooters, only Reyes died by suicide.

Jose Reyes: Police Report (1298 pp - 79 Mb)

This collection of material includes many pages of police paperwork documenting their response to the attack. It also includes interviews with family and friends and remains the single best source of information regarding Reyes.

Jose Reyes's Letters (2 pp - 1.43 Mb)

Jose Reyes left behind two letters: one to his parents, and one to the teachers and
students at his school.


Sparks Middle School shooting

A school shooting incident occurred on October 21, 2013 at Sparks Middle School, in Sparks, Nevada, United States. A 12-year-old student, Jose Reyes, opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun, injuring two students and killing a teacher. Reyes then committed suicide. The two students received non-life-threatening injuries from gunshot wounds. The teacher who died was a math teacher.


At about 7:15 am, 15 minutes before classes started, Jose Reyes was talking to a group of students behind the school campus near the north hallway, and appeared angry.

According to a witness, Reyes said "Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me?" Reyes then pulled out a Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and fired at the students. One student was shot in the shoulder and injured. Reyes aimed the handgun at another student but did not fire.

He then walked southbound to the basketball court area. Michael Landsberry, a math teacher, saw Reyes and then tried to intervene. Landsberry demanded he drop the gun and Reyes replied with "No!" Reyes shot and killed Landsberry, as he was standing on a playground.

He then shot twice at a window, shattering the glass, and then shot and wounded a student who tried to come to Landsberry's assistance after he fell to the ground. That student was shot in the abdomen from 10 to 20 feet away. Students then ran away from the school campus. Reyes committed suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The first 911 calls were made after 7:15 am.

According to police, the shooter attempted to enter the school doors but they were locked due to the school district's policy.

At least twenty students witnessed the shootings. At least 150 law enforcement officers responded to the shooting, some from as far as 60 miles away from Sparks.


Michael Landsberry, a 45-year-old eighth-grade math teacher and veteran of the United States Marine Corps and Nevada National Guard, was killed in the shooting from a gunshot wound to the chest. He is considered a hero for his actions during the attack.

Two 12-year-old male students are being hospitalized in Renown Regional Medical Center. The victims were initially in critical condition, but their conditions were upgraded to fair and serious. One victim, Mason Davis, sustained gunshot injuries to his lower abdomen, and the other sustained injuries to his upper torso area. As of October 23, the two students remain hospitalized.


The shooter, Jose Reyes, was a 12-year-old seventh-grade student at the school. He was wearing a Sparks Middle School uniform during the attack. A student who tutored the shooter said that he was disconnected from other people. Friends and acquaintances of Reyes said that he was bullied by students. A friend of Reyes said that he seemed like a "typical 12-year-old" who did not have many friends.

The gun used in the shooting belonged to his parents. The boy's parents could face charges in connection with the case.


Immediately after the shooting, students were evacuated from Sparks Middle School to nearby Agnes Risley Elementary School. The students from both schools were then being moved to Sparks High School. Classes were cancelled at Sparks Middle School for the school week. Classes re-opened on October 29.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Senator Harry Reid released statements expressing condolences to the victims, their families and the school community. On October 22, President Barack Obama's office called Sparks Mayor Geno Matini to express their condolences.

Candlelight vigils were held for Michael Landsberry and the two students on October 23 in Reno, and at Sparks Middle School. Several hundred people attended the vigils. A vigil was held on October 25 at the Sparks Marina for Landsberry and the two wounded students.


12-year-old Nevada middle school shooter was bullied, left two suicide notes: police

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SPARKS, Nev. — In less than 10 minutes after his mother dropped him off at school on the morning of Oct. 21, 2013, seventh-grader Jose Reyes and a popular middle school teacher lay on the school yard, dead from gunshot wounds. Two classmates were wounded and a school was in panic.

After seventh months and an exhaustive police investigation that produced a report of 1,300 pages, authorities on Tuesday released an in-depth report about the shooting that painted a picture of bullying, depression and a normal school day turning violent in the matter of minutes. Still, authorities aren't sure they fully understand what motivated the 12-year-old Reyes to take his parents' 9mm Ruger pistol and two magazines of ammunition to school that day.

Interviews with the boy's parents, teachers and classmates and the boy's own writings paint a portrait of a child troubled by depression and feelings of inadequacy at home and tormented by a school life in which he was mocked, teased and mistreated.

Some warning signs were there. His father had taken him to a psychotherapist just three days before the shooting and the doctor proscribed an antidepressant after the boy told of being teased at school, called "gay" and accused of peeing in his pants. His mother had done research on autism after Jose showed signs of it.

A look at his phone and his video viewing habits was more troubling.

In addition to phone images of the two teens who committed suicide after killing 13 at Colorado's Columbine High School in 1999, Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen said Tuesday investigators found searches on the Reyes family laptop in both July and October for "Super Columbine Massacre Role Playing Game." Forty-seven of the 69 video games in the boy's collection were "violent themed first-person shooter or shooter type games" such as "grand Theft Auto V," ''Assassins Creed" and "Call of Duty 4."

The youth who had wrestled with speech problems since kindergarten, who students told police been called "stupid" and/or "retard" in the hallways and poked by others in the side, tried to explain in separate suicide notes that offer insight and contradiction.

In one to "teachers and students," Allen said the boy "clearly expressed anger ... over his belief that he was embarrassed and mistreated at school" and "indicated he would get revenge."

Reyes wrote that he'd been called gay, lazy, stupid, an idiot, had his money stolen and been accused of wetting his pants.

"Well that all ends. Today I will get revenge on the students and teachers for ruining my life," he wrote, adding that he would bring a pistol and rifle to school "to shoot you and see how you like it when someone (sic) making fun of you."

"Have a great death at school," he said on the one-page note of spiral notebook paper he closed with a drawing of a tombstone that read: "Sparks Middle School 1965-2013."

But in the second contradictory note to his parents, he said "this shooting is not because of the shooting games, bullying or other stuff." He said it was because "some bad things in the past cause of me."

"And now I'm just a monster," Reyes wrote. "If you hate me and my family doesn't love me it's okay. I know that I'm just an idiot. But I love you and I wish the past would be good and better someday."

Police learned one of the students shot during the rampage had teased Reyes about not having muscles during a physical education class, had called him names and may have played a part in pouring water on him when he was accused of wetting his pants.

The mistreatment didn't rise to the level to merit bullying charges, Allen said.

Police earlier said Reyes' parents could be charged if they knowingly made the 9 mm pistol available to the boy. But Allen said Tuesday the investigation turned up no evidence that Jose and Liliana Reyes were aware that their son knew where the 9 mm pistol was kept in a kitchen cabinet.

Ken Robison, a Reno lawyer for the parents, said prosecutors indicated to him earlier they would not be charged, but Tuesday's announcement brought a "sense of relief."

Allen said the boy acted alone and did not communicate his plan to anyone.

"We will never know the complete motive or intent behind this tragic incident as the only person with the true knowledge felt acting out in violence and taking his own life was the best course of action," he said. "That in itself is a tragedy."


Chilling details, no 1 motive in Sparks school shooting

Siobhan McAndrew - Reno Gazette-Journal

May 13, 2014

When Sparks Middle School teacher Michael Landsberry died he had had $3 in his wallet, keys, a cell phone and his wedding ring.

Those are just a few of thousands of chilling details in a 1,300 page report released by the Sparks Police Department on Tuesday, almost seven months after seventh grader Jose Reyes killed Landsberry, shot and injured two students before killing himself.

On Oct. 21, 2013, Reyes brought a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol to school from home and just before the first bell terrorized hundreds of students and staff according to heartbreaking testimony in the report.

The investigation included search warrants ranging from Reyes' locker and his home to school files, including those who were injured. Even school photos of every Sparks Middle School student taken by Lifetouch National Pictures were gathered to identify children in surveillance video.

And although there are hundreds of witness statements, letters from Reyes written to his parents and the school, documented cases where the 12-year-old was mistreated by classmates and questions surrounding his social and academic background, police said there is no one motive.

"The investigation did not identify one clear catalyst or motive for the actions of the suspect," Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen said.

The report included witnesses describing in detail hearing what they thought were firecrackers or someone popping a brown lunch bag before seeing Reyes wave a silver and black gun and shoot Landsberry.

What police found

Police described a boy who owned violent video games, used the family's laptop to search for things including bullying and to look up "Top 10 evil children" and "Super Columbine Massacre Role Playing Game."

Allen said images on Reyes' phone had photos of violent wars scenes and pictures of the Columbine High School shooters.

Police also said the parents Jose and Liliana Reyes would not be charged with a crime.

"They did not believe their son had any interest in firearms and he was not a child that acted in violent or aggressive behavior," Allen said.

The gun used, one of two from the Reyes' apartment in Sparks, were kept in a cabinet above the refrigerator behind cereal boxes.

Liliana Reyes told police after hearing about the shooting at Sparks Middle School from a family member who called that she looked at the kitchen cupboard where the two guns were kept.

She realized the cereal boxes had been moved and she called her husband.

The 12-year-old Reyes also wrote two notes that police found in a spiral notebook inside the orange backpack he took to school that morning.

The notebook with Angry Birds on the cover, a video game where players use a sling slot to take down cartoon character birds, Reyes tells his parents he is sorry.

"Dear mom and dad I'm sorry about all this is because some of my family and friends hate me but I understand. What I did this shooting is not because of the shooting games, bullying or other stuff is because of the past causes there some bad things in the past cause of me. And now I'm just a monster..." the handwritten letter begins.

He ends the letter to his parents, "But I love you and I wish the past would be good and better someday."

Allen said the notes give conflicting motivation for the shooting but both elude that his life would end in the process.

The report outlined cases of bullying.

Although police had multiple reports that Reyes had been teased and bullied, they had a difficult time pinning any students down on the details of those incidents, including the names of the offenders and the specific bullying actions.

Three students recounted an incident in the locker room where Reyes was drinking from a water bottle and a student knocked it out of his hands. The group then laughed and teased him for looking as if he had urinated in his pants.

"No evidence was identified that indicated Reyes was bullied by the definition of state law," the report said. "However, it is clear on numerous occasions he was treated poorly, teased, called names and mocked by other students."

In the letter to teachers and students, Reyes writes he would get revenge.

"Dear teachers and students today is the day when I kill you bastards for the embarressment that you did. You say mean things in school. That I'm gay. That I'm lazy. Stupid. Idiot and also say I pee my pants and also stealing my money. Well that all ends. Today I will get revenge on the students and teachers for ruinning my life...And right now this school will now come to an end your death will be rising when I shoot you. Have a great death at school."

School intercom didn't work

The report includes witness statements ranging from those at the middle school on Oct. 21 to teachers the student had in elementary school.

The day of the shooting students and teachers describe running in fear, some hoping fences around the school or tripping as they tried to reach safety.

Then-Principal Stacy Cooper was inside the school when a crowd of students began running toward her, saying that someone was shooting a gun.

She called Code Red on her radio and called 911, but the intercom wasn't working when she attempted to announce Code Red to the rest of the school. She told police it was common for the intercom system to not work.

Cooper said she was familiar with Reyes because he had a history of "angry outbursts" at Agnes Risley Elementary School. She told police she wasn't aware of any bullying reports.

"We were playing catch, and I heard a loud pop," student wrote. The student in his own messy handwriting describes seeing Reyes aim the gun at Landsberry and shoot. "He fell to the ground, then I ran."

In an interview with Sparks Middle School Vice Principal Jerry Endres told police he went to Landsberry saw he was dead, turned when he heard a gunshot and saw Reyes pointing the gun at him.

He said he believed Reyes was chasing him and as he ran, he fell. He hid behind a planter until he was able to get into the school.

Endres also tried to call Code Red over the intercom, but it wasn't working. He then went into the cafeteria with a group of students and stacked garbage cans in front of the door.

"I heard a loud pop," writes teacher Benjamin Tucker. "I thought it was a firecracker. Mr. Landsberry and I went to investigate. We saw students running in all directions."

Tucker describes watching Landsberry drop to the ground.

"I turned and fled to the gym where I opened the door and let a few students in."

What boy's parents, others said

The report also includes details from interviews with Liliana and Jose Reyes who describe a son they loved but knew struggled.

They said he almost died when he was born and didn't start talking until he was 5.

In the report, the boy's mother first asked for help from school officials when Reyes was in fourth grade.

The parent involvement facilitator at the school said she helped with two parent-teacher meetings on the subject, which she said ended positively.

Teachers at Agnes Risley first noticed emotional problems with Reyes in second grade. They said he would often cry and would take him for walks around the school to help him calm down.

Reyes' fourth-grade teacher, Kelly Lorenzetti, described him as "always smiling, always willing to help and very quiet." She also said he had few friends and would participate in imaginary play rather than organized sports at recess.

Lorenzetti told police Reyes had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

Christy Bartlett, a special education teacher who worked at Agnes Risley Elementary School, said Reyes would often believe he was being teased when children were reacting to something different.

She said the kids at the elementary school "cared for Jose and did not let people pick on him because of his speech or academics."

Bartlett told police that Reyes had a difficult time calming down once he became angry. He once threw a chair against a wall when he thought a student was teasing him for reading from a lower-level book, she said.

Bartlett said she recommended that Reyes be placed in a life skills class, but the recommendation was denied by the program manager.

The report provides some of the earliest clues to what police described as a suspect that struggled with verbal communication skills as early as kindergarten.

In one note from school counselors, it appears a Washoe County School District employee is worried about how Reyes will manage in middle school.

"He is very low academically and cognitively and also gets frustrated and upset when he is confused or does not understand something," she writes. "I am worried about his ability to handle middle school."

In the report are many details that combined point to a child who had difficulties.

Also, three days before the shooting, Reyes was prescribed a generic form of Prozac by local psychotherapist Garen Mirzaian.

Students at Sparks Middle School watched two anti-bullying videos in the weeks before the shooting, both of which described school violence and shootings as a result of bullying.

Film "Teen Truth" shown on Sept. 13, 2013 portrays a victim of bullying pulling a gun from his backpack and shooting another student. At the end of the film, the bullying victim talks about "wishing he could go back in time to change things in the past." The film shows his actions being reversed.

In his note to his parents, Reyes wrote, "When I die, I will go back to the past and fix everything."

Police said that the film ends with a "clear message that being a victim of bullying or any mistreatment does not justify hurting another person."

But the police report also said that the film was supposed to be accompanied by other student activities. Those activities were not completed in Reyes' class.

Students watched a second bullying video the Friday before their fall break, which included stories of a victim who hanged himself, a girl who brought a girl to school and a lesbian student who was harassed.

RGJ reporter Anjeanette Damon contributed to this report.


Friends, family say middle school shooter was gentle boy

Siobhan McAndrew, Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal -

November 11, 2013

SPARKS, Nev. — The boy sat in the front seat as his mom drove to school.

Almost as tall as his father, José Reyes, who turned 12 in July, was starting to look grown up, but he was still very much a kid.

He played with toy soldiers, sometimes giving the green figurines roles in videos he made on his father's cellphone. He believed in Santa Claus and hid his letters to St. Nick in a spot he didn't think his parents knew about at the back of the Christmas tree. On his birthday every year, he smeared frosting on his face, just like he had done when he was a baby.

Oct. 21 was a typical morning.

Just before 6 a.m., José's father walked into his room before he left for work.

"I love you," said the father, bending over to kiss his son.

"I love you, too," José said.

Then he got up, went into his parents' room and climbed into the bed.

He tried to open his mom's eyes with his fingers.

"Are you sleeping?" he asked.

"If you're climbing in my bed, I'm going to kiss you," she said as he hid under the covers, pretending to wipe away her kisses on the sheets.

Of her three children, José was the easy one. But on Oct. 21, José insisted he needed his BB gun for science class as they drove to school, his younger sisters still in pajamas in the back seat. Spanish music played on the radio.

"No," his mom said. "You get a note signed by your teacher before you bring that."

José left the BB gun and got out of the car at Sparks Middle School.

In his orange backpack was a Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic gun.

A family begun young

José's mother, Liliana, and father, José Reyes, whom he is named after, met at a dance and later exchanged numbers at a pizza place. Both of their families had come to Nevada from Mexico.

They were married in 2000, when she was 21 and he was 19.

A few months later, Liliana Reyes announced she was pregnant.

"I knew my life was going to change. I knew it was a big responsibility," José Reyes said of the pregnancy. "We were really happy to have that responsibility."

Liliana Reyes wanted to be a mom.

"I had something because the kids would always follow me," she said of her nieces and nephews.

José was born after eight hours of labor and with the umbilical cord around his neck on July 2, 2001. He weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and had a full head of hair.

Like most new babies, he slept all day and stayed up all night.

"We always said he talked to angels because he was smiling at 1 week old," Liliana Reyes said.

José Reyes worked in restaurants, first as a busboy, then a cook as his family grew with the birth of two more children, girls born in 2005 and 2006.

The family moved to Arizona, and José Reyes worked in construction. When the economy slowed, the family moved back to Nevada and he worked at his brother's restaurant.

He saved his money and on May 14, 2011, he opened his own place, Sparks Coffee Shop. The popular restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch and is known for its food, service and the Reyes family.

On most days, a line of customers stretches out the door. Many now know what happened at Sparks Middle School just before the first school bell of the morning.

At 7:16 a.m. Oct. 21, the boy whom customers knew well walked onto his school campus and shot a student in the shoulder. He headed toward the basketball courts and shot and killed teacher Michael Landsberry. Many students said he pointed the gun at others before he shot a second student in the abdomen. He then turned around and walked north before killing himself.

John and Myrna Dunn remember hearing the news.

"No, not this boy, this family," Myrna Dunn said. She and her husband eat at the restaurant a few times a week.

They remember meeting his father when he was just a little older than José. The elder José Reyes was 14 then and a busboy when he impressed and charmed the now-retired couple.

They said José Reyes makes everyone who comes into his business feel like family.

"We think of him as a son," John Dunn said.

They grew to also love the boy when he started working at his father's restaurant.

"He always had a smile on his face," John Dunn said.

He remembers shaking the young man's hand and giving him a hard time about his gentle grip.

"I told him, 'You have to have a strong handshake.' And ever since, whenever we came in, he squeezed my hand as hard as he could," John Dunn said.

Son helps at father's restaurant

José started working at his dad's restaurant shortly after it opened in 2011, spending weekends, school vacations and some nights after school washing dishes, greeting customers, busing tables and cooking.

His dad was proud to show his son what it meant to work hard.

"I want my son to learn not to just ask for things, you have to earn it," he said. "Everything I told him to do, even if he didn't know how to do it, he never complained."

He remembers the time a customer dropped a $100 bill and José ran out of the restaurant to return it.

He told his son he had to learn to break eggs with one hand so he could work faster. When José came home with a burn from cracking an egg against a hot pan, his mother asked if it hurt.

"It is part of the job," José said.

His parents were proud of José's report cards and kept the dozens of student awards from the time he was in kindergarten through the start of middle school this year.

"He made us feel like we are doing the right thing with our kids," José Reyes said. "Sometimes the money I gave him, he just wanted to give it back to me so I can use it."

With his entire first paycheck, he bought his mother shoes. When the family went to Walmart, he bought his sisters toys.

"One time, we went to Olive Garden for dinner. I was about to pay," José Reyes said. His son announced that he was picking up the tab.

"We started laughing and we looked at each other, 'Are you serious?'" they said, explaining to their son it was expensive.

But their son insisted and paid the $80 bill, an amount that took months for him to earn.

Loving parents

Longtime neighbors said Liliana and José Reyes adored their children.

"They were polite and well-behaved children always," said Bill Williams, who lived next to the couple in an apartment in Sparks for four years.

"Their children are everything to them," said Gale Williams, who keeps the birthdates of José and his sisters written on a napkin in her kitchen.

The couple offered to babysit many times. They said the hardworking parents spent every free moment with their children.

"I don't think José ever took a day off that first year of the restaurant," Bill Williams said. "José said he was working to make something for his children."

Bill Williams said he wished more parents were like José and Liliana Reyes.

"This is a good family," said Kent Robison, whose law firm is representing the family. "They are devastated and so sorry this happened."

Robison said no one should judge this family because of a child-abuse charge from two years ago.

In early 2012, José Reyes pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse after hitting his son and giving him a black eye after an argument during which his son struck him first. José Reyes reported it immediately to a counselor at his son's school.

Police found no other incidents of abuse before or since and have not linked the school shooting to the one incident.

The investigation into the shooting could take months or longer to complete, police have said.

But this family had no clues about what led to the violence Oct. 21.

The José recently got in trouble in a music class and was blamed for something that he might not have done, Robison said.

He was teased because he had a slight speech impediment. He was also made fun of after he spilled water on his pants, Robison said. Kids said he wet his pants and called him gay.

The Friday before the shooting, his parents sent their son to a counselor, worried because he seemed sad. But they say they saw no signs of that José would take a gun out of his backpack at Sparks Middle School.

"It could happen to anyone," José Reyes said. "We want people to understand we knew him as the boy and the 12 years he lived, not because of what happened."

A family's grief

At their son's funeral, Liliana and José Reyes stood with their son's body during the entire service. The shooting had happened three days previous, and this was the first time they were able to see their son's remains.

They told him they loved him and hoped he was happy. His sisters read letters about how much they would miss their brother.

They say they don't know why José took the gun from above their refrigerator and out of its latched but not locked case. They didn't realize he knew they had a firearm.

Liliana Reyes said she didn't know she was helping her son get ready for school for the final time.

She ran her hands through his thick hair with gel, styling it the way he liked. Then he got dressed in khaki pants and a gray school sweatshirt she had ironed. Sometimes he reminded his mom to iron his clothes, a habit she started when her boy was just weeks old as she pressed baby T-shirts and jeans she liked to dress him in to match his daddy.

She said she was close to her little boy but knew he wanted to be just like his father.

"So guapo," she said, telling him in Spanish how handsome he was before they left for school for that morning.

"I know," he said, smiling back.


Father of 12-year-old Sparks Middle School shooter admits to hitting his son and giving him a black eye

  • Jose Reyes Sr. pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse charges in 2012

  • He admitting hitting his son, also named Jose Reyes, in January that year

  • Reyes Sr. reported the incident himself and has no previous record

  • Those who did discuss him with reporters said he liked video games

  • His family has been cooperating with police in the investigation

By Daniel Miller -

November 8, 2013

The father of the 12-year-old Sparks Middle School shooter was found guilty of child abuse after admitting hitting his son and giving him a black eye in 2012, it has emerged.

Seventh grader Jose Reyes walked into the Nevada school on the morning of October 21 and opened fire with a 9-millimeter Ruger semiautomatic pistol before the first bell had rung.

Teacher Michael Landsberry was shot dead and two male students were injured before Reyes turned the gun on himself.

The boy's father Jose Horacio Reyes, 32, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor child abuse charges, after admitting hitting his son in January 2012.

Police records tell how the pair had argued after returning home from buying video games. The youngster was apparently having trouble counting the money to pay for the games and his father had tried to teach him.

There had apparently been a disagreement after which Reyes, referred to as Reyes-Mandujano in the record, said to his son: 'You don't have to be a crybaby.'

He told the police that his son then became upset and hit him at which point he lost control and smacked the boy two or three times across the face with an open hand and then a back hand.

The record states: 'The strikes to REYES face resulted in a black eye.'

The following day the father reported the incident to school officials and was arrested on felony child abuse charges.

He later pleaded guilty in Sparks Justice Court to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse, neglect or endangerment and was ordered to pay a $500 fine and attend anger management and parenting classes.

According to the arrest report, Reyes told police he felt 'sick to his stomach' about what he had done.

The record shows that he had no previous criminal history and that his son told the same story about the incident.'

The arresting officer wrote: 'Reyes-Mandujano is being very cooperative and honest and forthright, but I was still going to place him under arrest and take him to jail tonight.'

The shocked community is still struggling to come to terms with the shooting and explain what drove an apparently happy 12-year-old to bring a gun into school.

His parents described him as a loving son who would kiss them every day and used to save the money he earned working at his family's restaurants to buy gifts for his two younger sisters and treat his parents to dinner.

Mr Reyes said: 'We did not know Jose was angry or upset about conditions at school.

'He had never complained about any particular teacher or student. We knew that he had been teased and that he was trying to work through a speech problem that he had.'

Teacher Michael Landsberry, 45, who died after being shot by the boy was an ex-Marine who coached basketball and soccer and was known as a big fan of Batman.

He had served several tours of Afghanistan before becoming a much loved teacher. He is understood to have been shot while trying to talk the boy into handing over his weapon.

Around 20 to 30 middle school students witnessed the multiple shootings.

A seventh-grade student called Andrew Thompson told IBNlive: 'A kid started getting mad and he pulled out a gun and shoots my friend, one of my friends at least.

'And then he walked up to a teacher and says back up. The teacher started backing up and he pulled the trigger.'

Two 12-year-old male students were taken to hospital in critical condition after one was shot in the stomach and the other shot in the shoulder.

One young man underwent surgery. Both students are now said to be in stable condition.

It is believed the student stole the semi-automatic handgun from his parents' home.

Sparks City Attorney Chet Adams released the boy’s name after the Reno Gazette-Journal announced its plans to file a lawsuit.

Multiple students at the school had already told the the Reno Review-Journal that Reyes was the shooter, but the newspaper refused to report the name lacking official confirmation.

However, authorities were fighting a losing battle as the young shooters identity was already widely known amongst Sparks' 90,000 residents and was being circulated widely on social media.

City officials later acknowledged a report from the Univision affiliate in Reno that disclosed the name and said they would release it publicly to be fair to families and other media outlets.

In a news release, Sparks spokesman Adam Mayberry said the name of the seventh-grader was released in 'order to be fair to all the families involved and all the news media.'


'Hero' teacher, student gunman dead in Nevada

Siobhan McAndrew, Martha Bellisle and Brian Duggan - USA TODAY

October 21, 2013

A Nevada middle school student shot and killed a teacher and wounded two students Monday before fatally shooting himself in the nation's latest horrific act of school violence.

Police said the teacher at Sparks Middle School died trying to protect students.

"We've got video we have to review, people we've got to talk to," said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of Reno police. "But in my estimation, he is a hero. We do know he was trying to intervene."

The Reno Gazette-Journal said the victim, 45-year-old Michael Landsberry, was also a member of the Nevada Army National Guard. Landsberry was a popular math teacher at the middle school, the Journal said.

Chanda Landsberry said her brother-in-law, who received bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2001, loved teaching.

"He loved his school kids. He loved the Guard," she said. "It defined him."

Eighth-grader Kyle Nucum, 13, said he was on an outside basketball court when the shooting happened about 7:15 a.m.

"We heard a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming and the teacher came to investigate," Kyle said. "I thought it was a firecracker at first, but the student was pointing a gun at the teacher. After the teacher told him to put it down, and the student fired a shot ... at the teacher and the teacher fell and everybody ran away."

Kyle said he and other students heard four or five more shots as they ran across a field, where a woman let them into her home.

Student Michelle Hernandez said she saw the shooter Monday morning. "I heard him saying, 'Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me,?" Michelle said.

Eighth-grader Seth Hinchberger said the shooter "pulled out a weapon and just shot it. And scared all of us and we just started running."

Seth said they ran into a hall and created a pile, "guys in the front … for the safety of the girls." He said the shooter came over and appeared to aim at the pile, but was distracted by a teacher and started shooting in another direction.

Michael Landsberry's students shared the pain of his loss in an outpouring of heartfelt messages on social media, and shared silly photos of their teacher, showing his playfulness in the classroom.

Landsberry kept a math website to help his students get through each year called "Welcome to Mr. L's Math Class for 2013-2014."

"I have one classroom rule and it is very simple: 'Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L,'" the site said. "I am looking forward to getting to know and teach all of you this year. I know that at times the year will be tough and boring but I will do my best to make the lessons exciting."

Some of his students told reporters that Landsberry loved Batman so much that many used the title as his nickname.

Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said 150 to 200 personnel secured the school and the surrounding area. Addressing parents during a press conference, he said "I can tell them to rest assured. The schools are safe. The rest of the city is safe."

Sparks Middle School, in a working-class section of the city of 90,000, has about 700 students in the seventh and eighth grades.

"This is just a very sad day for us, a very tragic day," said Pedro Martinez, the superintendent of the Washoe County School District.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini praised the emergency response during a press conference Monday.

"The city itself is very safe, this is just an isolated incident," Martini said. "It's very, very tragic, I'm saddened to have to be here."

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement:

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning. My administration is receiving regular updates and the Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene. Kathleen and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and those affected by these tragic events."

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., also released this statement expressing condolences to the victims, their families and everyone at the school.

McAndrew, Bellisle and Duggan report for the Gazette-Journal. Contibuting: Guy Clifton, Steve Timko, Susan Skorupa, Emerson Marcus, Gazette-Journal; John Bacon, USA TODAY; the Associated Press.



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