Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
The Nevada middle school shooting that left two dead early Monday morning was perpetrated by a student, and it claimed the lives of a beloved math teacher and the shooter, who shot and killed himself with the handgun he allegedly took from his parents, CNN was reporting Monday night as details continued to emerge. More from their report:
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An official used one word to describe the scene at Sparks Middle School: chaos.
The shooter took a handgun from his parents, a federal law enforcement source who was briefed on the situation told CNN’s Evan Perez.
The gunman shot and killed himself, Sparks Deputy Chief Tom Miller said Monday evening at a news conference.
Authorities said the shooter’s motive was unclear.
“It’s too early to say whether he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree,” said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department.
Mike Landsberry, a math teacher at the school, was killed in the shooting, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told CNN.
In addition to his work as a teacher, Landsberry also had served in the Marines and served several tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, his brother, Reggie, told “Anderson Cooper 360.”
“He was the kind of person that if someone needed help he would be there,” Reggie Landsberry said. “He loved teaching. He loved the kids. He loved coaching them. … He was just a good all-around individual.”
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Two people are dead and two minors are hospitalized in critical condition after a shooting at a Nevada middle school Monday morning, school officials have told news agencies. CNN has more on the developing story:
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Sparks Middle School, outside Reno, remains an active crime scene, school officials said in a Twitter post.
Two minors are in critical condition at Renown Regional Medical Center after the shooting, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Authorities released few details about the incident, but city officials said in a statement that the suspect was “neutralized.”
“Law enforcement assures that the school and community are secured at this time,” the statement said.
City officials said authorities received emergency calls from students and staff at the school about 7:15 a.m. about an active shooter on campus.
Authorities said students were being taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School was canceled for the day at Sparks Middle School and nearby Agnes Risley Elementary, officials said.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
As many as one in five American children who are considered to be at risk of committing suicide have access to guns–the most effective method of killing yourself–in their homes, says a new study that was presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting this week in Washington, DC. NBC News has more:
They said their findings show it’s extremely important to screen children for suicide risk, and to educate parents about how to keep guns out of their hands if they are. And early treatment is also vital.
The researchers, who presented their findings at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Washington, D.C., say they don’t want their results to get mixed up in the current debate over firearms regulation. They just want to keep kids safe.
“A lot of kids, surprisingly, don’t have a history of mental illness but they attempt suicide,” says Dr. Stephen Teach, an emergency room doctor at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Suicide is the No. 3 cause of death for children and youths aged 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 4,600 kids and young adults kill themselves each year, and 45 percent of them use guns. Another 40 percent suffocate or strangle themselves and 8 percent poison themselves.
“Guns are the most lethal method that is commonly used in suicide attempts,” says Dr. Matt Miller, an injury control expert at the Harvard School of Public Health. People who try to commit suicide using pills or by cutting themselves complete the suicide just 3 percent of the time, he said.
Teach and colleagues made their discovery while trying to come up with an easy, short questionnaire for emergency room doctors to use while seeing children for a range of troubles. Their study included 524 patients ages 10 to 21 being seen at three pediatric emergency rooms.
“When we were asking kids these questions, we also asked kids questions about firearms and bullets. To our surprise, one-fifth reported firearms in the home,” Teach said in an interview. “That’s a pretty volatile mix. Nearly half of all completed suicides involve firearms, which is pretty scary.”
Image: Depressed child, via Shutterstock
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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
A 4-year-old Houston boy has died after he picked up a handgun and shot himself, NBC News is reporting, adding that the gun belonged to the boy’s father and was stolen. More from NBC:
Marquiez Deshon Pratt, 21, was asleep on the couch when his son, Jaiden, picked up the gun and shot himself in the stomach, according to a report from the Houston Police Department.
The weapon, a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol, was stolen during a burglary in 2011, according to the police report.
Jaiden was spending the weekend with his father when the incident occurred. The boy’s mother dropped him off every Friday and was scheduled to pick him up Sunday at noon, according to the Houston Chronicle.
After the shooting, the elder Pratt ran out of his second-floor apartment with his son in his arms, yelling to his neighbors for help, according to the Houston Chronicle.
When officers arrived, Pratt handed his son over to them and ran back to his apartment.
While some officers pursued Pratt, others performed CPR on the young victim, but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
Image: Handgun, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, December 20th, 2012
School officials across the country are contemplating the horrific events of last week’s shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and asking the question, how can we keep our schools safe? Parents tend to have very strong opinions on the broader question of whether teachers should ever be armed. But a more measured question–whether schools should hire armed security guards–is capturing more attention as the days unfold. The debate is playing out across social media, across dinner tables, and, as The New York Times reports, among school board members nationwide:
“Across the country, some 23,200 schools — about one-third of all public schools — had armed security staff in the 2009-10 school year, the most recent year for which data are available.
Now, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, school officials across the nation are reviewing security protocols, including lockdown drills and building entry procedures, but also whether to hire more armed guards.
These questions arise amid a broader political and societal debate about gun control. While some people view the prospect of bringing additional guns into schools as fueling a culture of violence, others say children need the protection.
On Sunday, a former education secretary, William J. Bennett, indicated on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he would support such measures. “I’m not so sure I wouldn’t want one person in a school armed, ready for this kind of thing,” said Mr. Bennett, who served under President Ronald Reagan.
With national sentiment starting to move in favor of stricter gun laws, Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan vetoed a bill on Tuesday that state lawmakers had passed just a day before the shootings in Newtown, allowing registered gun owners to carry concealed weapons in schools. But also on Tuesday, a legislator in South Carolina introduced a similar bill that would allow school employees to carry guns in schools.
The question of whether to place trained security guards with guns in schools is left up to local districts. These officers are charged with protecting students not just from intruders but also from each other. They often conduct classes in preventing gang violence or bullying, as well as handle more prosaic tasks like issuing traffic tickets.
According to the Council of the Great City Schools, cities including Albuquerque, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and St. Louis have armed officers in schools, either contracting with local police forces or recruiting their own dedicated security staff. Other cities, including Boston and New York, place unarmed security officers in schools. Sandy Hook Elementary did not have a security guard on campus.”
Image: School hallway, via Shutterstock
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