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Teacher Killed in Nevada School Shooting an Ex-Marine

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(CNN) -- No one knows why he picked this day, this time, these victims. It was the first day back from fall break at Sparks Middle School. Students milled about, waiting to hear the morning bell.

Within moments, two 12-year-old students were wounded. A beloved teacher -- a military veteran -- lay dead. And the 12-year-old shooter, armed with his parents' gun, took his own life, silencing any way of understanding what he was thinking.

"It's not clear as of right now if he was targeting anyone in particular," Deputy Chief Tom Miller of the Sparks Police Department said on CNN's "New Day" Tuesday.

Before Monday morning, the boy seemed like the antithesis of a school shooter. "He was really a nice kid," schoolmate Amaya Newton said. "He would make you smile when you were having bad day."

But for whatever reason, the boy, whom authorities have not identified, took his parents' handgun to school, a federal law enforcement source said. Miller said Tuesday that authorities aren't positive where the gun came from, but believe it belonged to his parents.

Amaya said she thought the two students wounded at the Nevada school -- one shot in the cafeteria and the other in a hallway -- were friends of the shooter. The wounded students were in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries Monday night, Miller said. One had a stomach wound, the other was shot in the shoulder, Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras said.

Authorities have not released the wounded boys' names.

Investigators haven't determined what prompted the shooting. Miller said only that police are exploring all avenues. Amaya said she "saw him getting bullied a couple of times, and I think he took out his bullying."

The teacher who died, Mike Landsberry, appeared to be trying to stop the incident when he was shot dead, Miller said Tuesday. "It almost appears like he tried to talk him down," he said. True to his character, the former Marine, a popular math teacher at Sparks Middle School, rushed to help others when chaos erupted.

"That was the kind of person that Michael was," his brother, Reggie Landsberry, told CNN. "He was the kind of person that if somebody needed help, he would be there."

A Facebook memorial page for the teacher had more than 10,000 "likes" by early Tuesday. Thousands more honored him on a "Rest Easy Mr. Landsberry" page. The school will be closed for the rest of the week as the shooting reignites the national debate over gun violence and school safety.




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