2 dead, 2 boys hurt in Nevada school shooting - FOX 32 News Chicago

Police: Student killed staff member who was trying to protect children at Nev. middle school

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SPARKS, Nev. (AP) -- Police say it was a student who opened fire at a Nevada middle school today, killing a staff member who was trying to protect other children.

The suspected gunman also is dead, but authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement, though more than 150 officers responded.

The shooting erupted outside Sparks Middle School shortly before classes began this morning. Two other students were critically injured in the incident. They were both taken to a nearby hospital, where one is out of surgery. Police say the other as doing well.

Students from the middle school and next door elementary school were evacuated to the nearby high school, and classes were canceled. At the evacuation center, parents walked with their arms around their children, some of whom were in tears.

Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement after hearing about the shooting.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning. My administration is receiving regular updates and the Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene," he said. Sandoval extended his thoughts and prayers to those affected.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, offered his condolences to students, parents and staff who experienced "a traumatic morning."

"No words of condolence could possibly ease the pain, but I hope it is some small comfort that Nevada mourns with them. I stand by to be of any assistance if there is anything that can be done," Reid said in a statement.

The school, which enrolls about 700 students in 7th and 8th grades, has a strict uniform policy that forbids the colors red and blue in students' outfits, colors commonly associated with rival gangs.

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 reignited debate over how best to protect the nation's schools and whether armed teachers should be part of that equation.

Washoe County School District held a session in the spring in light of the Connecticut tragedy to educate parents on what safety measures the district takes.

Sparks, a city of roughly 90,000 that sprung out of the railway industry, lies just east of Reno.

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