Photo by Steve Timko (Reno Gazette Journal)
Sparks Middle School remains secured following a shooting at the school on Oct. 21.
(Photo: Steve Timko, Reno Gazette-Journal)
Two people are dead and two children critically wounded after gunfire erupted Monday at a Nevada middle school, Sparks police said.
The Reno Gazette-Journal, citing Sparks City Manager Shawn Carey, said the shooter was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"We believe the suspect has been neutralized," the Sparks Police Department said on its website, without further details.
Police said a teacher was killed by the shooter. Angela Rambo, spokeswoman for Renown Regional Hospital, said the hospital had received two male patients, both minors, and both were in critical condition.
Kyle Nucum, 13, told the Gazette-Journal that he witnessed another student shoot a teacher. Nucum said the teacher saw the student with a gun and ran to the student to tell him to put the gun down. He was then shot.
A 7th grader told KTVN-TV that she saw a fellow 7th grader shoot a teacher and possibly another 7th grader.
Reno deputy chief Tom Robinson said there were 150 to 200 personnel that secured the school and the surrounding area. Robinson, addressing parents during a press conference, said "I can tell them to rest assured. The schools are safe. The rest of the city is safe."
Governor Brian Sandoval said he was receiving regular updates, and that the Nevada Highway Patrol was assisting at the scene.
"I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning," Sandoval said in a statement issued on behalf of Sandoval and his wife. "Kathleen and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and those affected by these tragic events."
Police spokesman Rocky Triplett said students had been evacuated from Sparks Middle School to nearby Agnes Risley Elementary School. The students from both schools were then being moved to Sparks High School.
Sparks Middle School, which enrolls about 700 students in 7th and 8th grades, has a strict uniform policy that forbids the colors red and blue because they are associated with rival gangs.
The newspaper initially reported that a 12-year-old boy was shot as classes were starting, and the school was placed on lockdown.
The streets around the three schools were ringed with emergency vehicles following the shooting. Parents are being allowed to pick up children, but otherwise streets in the area were closed.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., released this statement:
"My condolences go out to the victims' families and my thoughts are with the teachers, administrators, parents and students at Sparks Middle School who have experienced a traumatic morning. No words of condolence could possibly ease the pain, but I hope it is some small comfort that Nevada mourns with them. I stand by to be of any assistance if there is anything that can be done and I will continue to monitor the situation."
McAndrew and Clifton report for the Gazette-Journal. Contibuting: Steve Timko, Susan Skorupa, Martha Bellisle, Emerson Marcus, Gazette-Journal; Associated Press