He was aiming 'at my chest': Middle-schooler recalls Nev. shooting
Teacher Michael Landsberry was killed when he confronted the young shooter at Sparks Middle School Monday.
Sparks, Nev. middle-schooler Jose Cazares and his mom, Marisela are
"forever grateful" for a hero teacher they say saved the boy's life
A young student opened fire on the school's basketball court Monday, shooting and killing math teacher Mike Landsberry and wounding two students before taking his own life.
"I was hanging out with my friends, and then we heard a loud gunshot
and we thought it was firecrackers," Jose Cazares told Matt Lauer on
TODAY Tuesday as he recounted the chaos of the scene. "So then we looked
back toward where we saw the noise, and we saw the kid pull out his gun
and shoot the kid in the arm, so then they started running and I froze
because he was aiming his gun right at my chest. And I looked at the gun
and my chest like, 'He's going to shoot me.'
"I turned around and
I ran. I heard a gunshot, and I thought he shot me. Then I looked back,
and he shot a kid in his leg, arm and stomach."
Cazares and other witnesses said Landsberry quickly stepped forward and spoke to the boy.
was telling him to stop and put the gun down, and then the kid, he
yelled out 'No!' yelling at him, and he shot him," Jose said.
"(Landsberry) was calm and he was holding out his hand like, 'Put the
gun in my hand,' like to just stop."
Landsberry, 45, a National Guardsman and former Marine, died at the
scene. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said Landsberry served two tours in
Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard.
grateful for everything that he did," an emotional Marisela Cazares told
Lauer. "Just grateful he was there to help our children out."
Jose heard one of the students pleading with the shooter, saying, "Why me?''
"(The shooter) didn't say nothing,'' Jose said. "He just kept on shooting them."
Landsberry was shot, Jose said he and several other students ran and
hid, but the shooter found them when he heard one of the students crying
"He started yelling, 'If you guys say anything about me coming here,
I'm going to shoot you,' so then he shot twice to the windows, and then
it seemed like he was out of bullets, so then he left,'' Jose said.
brother, Reggie, told NBC News that the 8th-grade teacher is survived
by his wife, Sharon, and two of her children from a previous
"I want to say that they're in my thoughts and
prayers today and for the rest of the days," said Marisela. "I hope that
God gives them the encouragement that they need to go on. Mr.
Landsberry, he sacrificed his life to take our kids into safety, and I
thank him for that. He's a true hero."