It's hard to believe it has happened again. A middle school student fatally shot his teacher and injured two other students in Nevada on Monday morning before being killed, according to reports. Authorities say it's too soon to tell whether the suspect turned the gun on himself -- the student has yet to be identified by name -- or whether his death was the result of a law enforcement shot. A motive for this crime has yet to be made clear and a community is trying to grapple with the horrendous fact that theirs is the 16th school shooting to take place in 2013 and a vivid reminder of the horror that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, just 10 months ago.
Early Monday morning, police began receiving phone calls from Sparks Middle School claiming there was a shooter on campus. The student reportedly pointed a gun at a teacher, who told him to put the weapon down. Instead, the student opened fire and fatally shot him. It's unclear whether the teacher was trying to protect his students -- this seems to be the consensus as of now -- or how two students were injured during the course of the day's events, but officials say the boys were rushed to the hospital in critical condition. One was later upgraded to fair.
The shooter was then "neutralized," according to police, which doesn't give us a whole lot of information yet about whether it was a suicide or the result of police action.
Thank the lord that the school and authorities acted quickly this morning and transferred Sparks' students to a nearby high school to meet their parents. And it goes without saying that we can be thankful this didn't turn into another Newtown, which resulted in the senseless deaths of 26 students and staff members. But none of these factors makes this situation any less nightmarish to the children and teachers who had to live through it, or to the family members of the teacher whose life was taken and the two injured students who, we pray, will recover.
And yes, it's also incredibly sad to think that a middle school student was filled with so much anger, hatred, and confusion that he thought so little about the lives of others or about himself. We just hope all parties involved in this horrific incident will be able to find peace soon.
How are you confronting talking with your children about the events that occurred today at Sparks Middle School?
Image via Richard Elzey/Flickr