Teacher killed while trying to stop Nevada middle school shooter called a hero
"He proudly served his country and was proudly defending the students at his school," he said. The mayor praised the quick response from officers who arrived at the scene within 3 minutes of the initial 911 calls to find the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"They got it under control very quickly and shut down the scene," said Martini, who urged listeners on a local radio station hours after the shooting to be sure all guns in their homes are locked away safely.
"I couldn't understand how this kid got a gun," he said. "I'm sure his parents didn't give it to him."
Students from the middle school and neighboring elementary school were evacuated to the nearby high school, and classes were canceled. The middle school will remain closed for the week along with an adjacent elementary school.
"We came flying down here to get our kids," said Mike Fiorica, who came to the evacuation center to meet up with his nephew, a Sparks Middle school student. "You can imagine how parents are feeling. You don't know if your kid's OK."
The violence erupted nearly a year after a gunman horrified the nation by opening fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., leaving 26 dead. The Dec. 14 shooting ignited debate over how best to protect the nation's schools and whether armed teachers should be part of that equation.
The Washoe County School District, which oversees Sparks Middle School, held a session in the spring in light of the Connecticut tragedy to educate parents on what safety measures the district takes.
The district has its own 38-officer police department. No officers were on campus at the time of the shooting.
Associated Press writer Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas and news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this report.
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