School shooting at Sparks Middle School on Monday morning, Oct. 21. (Photo courtesy Steve Timko/Reno Gazette-Journal)
A student apparently opened fire at a Nevada middle school Monday, killing a teacher and wounding two boys, authorities said. The shooter was left dead.
A hospital said that the two boys arrived in critical condition. One was later upgraded to fair.
Kyle Nucum, a student, told the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper that he heard "a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming." He said the shooter was wearing a Sparks Middle School uniform, and shot the teacher after the teacher told him to put the gun down.
Sparks Middle School shooting on Oct. 21, that left two people dead and two in critical condition in Sparks, Nev.
"The teacher fell and everybody ran away," Nucum told the newspaper. "We ran across the field to get somewhere safe, and while we were running we heard about four or five more gunshots."
Police said that the suspect had been "neutralized." It was not clear whether he took his own life. Police promised more information at a 4 p.m. ET press conference.
The shooting happened just after 7 a.m., as buses were still dropping kids off.
Authorities said it was too early to tell whether the gunman was targeting anyone or simply on a spree. They suggested that the teacher tried to shield students from the gunman but stressed that they were still investigating.
"In my estimation, he is a hero," said Tim Robinson, deputy chief of the Sparks police.
The two boys were being treated at Renown Regional Hospital, said Angela Rambo, a spokeswoman.
Police urged parents to stay away from the school. They told the parents to go to a nearby school to pick up their children. KRNV, the NBC affiliate in Reno, reported that the school had been cleared, citing officials on the scene.
Gov. Brian Sandoval said that he was receiving regular updates and was "deeply saddened" to learn of the shooting.
In 2006, a boy using his father's .38-caliber pistol opened fire at another Reno-area middle school and wounded a boy and girl, both 14, the newspaper said. A gym teacher was honored later for ending the episode by telling the boy to drop the gun and bear-hugging him.
James Scott Newman, 14 at the time of that shooting, pleaded guilty to battery with a deadly weapon and got house arrest.