Michael Landsberry, the Hero Teacher Who Took a Bullet to Save His Students: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

mike landsberry, hero teacher shot

Michael Landsberry, 45, a popular math teacher at Sparks Middle School in Nevada, is the hero who was fatally shot by a student today while preventing a far greater tragedy.

Two people were killed, including the shooter, and two student victims were hospitalized.

Shortly after the incident, students began tweeting their memories of “Mr. Landsberry.”

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And a source at the school soon confirmed he was the victim.

Here’s what we know Mr. Landsberry and his amazing act of courage.

1. He Was a Popular & Beloved 8th Grade Math Teacher & Coach

According to the school’s website, Landsberry was an eighth grade math teacher. He was known as a fun-loving mentor; one student remarked on Twitter that before tests, he would tell students: “Let the force be with you.”

Landsberry also coached Sparks’ soccer team. One student said that before games, he would let players touch his bald head for good luck.

Another ex-student of Sparks said Landsberry was also the school’s basketball coach.

Many students noted in their grief that Mr. Landsberry was already regarded as a hero in the school before his actions today.

2. He Was a Former Marine

mike landsberry, middle school teacher shot

In addition to being a former U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan and attained the rank of corporal, Landsberry was also a member of the Nevada Air National Guard.

The Guard released this photo:

michael landsberry national guard photo

Landsberry’s Facebook page, which has been disabled, featured frequent postings highlighting his pride in being a Marine.

A new tribute page to Landsberry includes many references to his love for teaching, but also his honor as a Marine:

michael landsberry marine teacher hero at sparks middle school

He studied elementary education at the University of Reno, graduating in 2000. He attended high-school in the Reno area at Robert McQueen high.

3. He Was a Loving, Married Family Man

mike landsberry, sparks middle school teacher shot

According to Facebook, Michael was married to Sharon Landsberry. They just celebrated their anniversary on October 18:

mike landsberry

Here’s a heartbreaking message that his stepdaughter — one of two stepdaughters he treated as his own — posted recently on Facebook:

mike landsberry daughter children

4. He Had a Cool Website for His Students

michael landsberry sparks middle school teacher

Landsberry had a website where he told students what to expect in his class.

The tone is humorous, including this line:

I have one classroom rule and it is very simple:
“Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L.”
You are asking yourself what annoys me, it depends on any given day. Just like you I have good days and bad days. What may bother me one day may not the next. A very good skill to learn is reading people and their moods.

These photos appear in the Grading Policy section of his site:

michael landsberry sparks middle school teacher

According to this Transparent Nevada page, Landsberry’s compensation was $58,744.66, plus benefits.

5. He Died a Hero

Mike Landsberry

A disgruntled student, reportedly wearing his Sparks Middle School uniform, came to school with a gun this morning just after 7 a.m. local time.

Friends say he had been bullied. Witnesses report that before opening fire, the boy said something along the lines of, “My life is over,” “Why you people making fun of me?” and “Why are you laughing at me?”

Landsberry sprang into action — attempting to take the gun — and paid the price, likely preventing a far greater tragedy.

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