Nevada shooting: Parents of suspect may face charges
- 22 October 2013
- From the section US & Canada
Authorities in Nevada are weighing prosecuting the parents of a 12-year-old who shot a teacher dead and wounded two classmates before killing himself.
Officials in the city of Sparks have not identified the boy but believe the weapon came from his home.
He opened fire at Sparks Middle School on Monday, killing maths teacher and Afghanistan veteran Michael Landsberry.
Police say Landsberry, 45, was shot as he tried to coax the boy to drop the gun.
School District Police Chief Mike Mieras said Landsberry walked towards the boy with the gun, enabling the children on the playground to flee.
"I cannot express enough appreciation for Mr Landsberry," Washoe County Schools Superintendent Pedro Martinez said on Tuesday. "He truly is a hero."
Officials also said the boy with the gun was unable to enter the school building, which was crowded with students, because staff followed security procedures.
The two wounded children are expected to recover.
Officials are still working to determine how the boy, who was enrolled at the school, gained access to a semi-automatic handgun.
Police say the boy's parents are co-operating with investigators.
"We have been in contact with the parents of the suspect in this matter and out of respect for them, we will not be releasing the identity of the shooter," Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller said at a news conference.
"They are grieving parents and are going through a very challenging, difficult time."
When asked if the parents would face charges, Mr Miller said, "That is basically a question for the local prosecutor. But the potential is there."
The incident occurred at 07:15 local time on Monday (14:15 GMT) shortly before the scheduled start of classes.
As many as 200 police officers responded to the scene, authorities said.