A Nevada math teacher is being hailed a hero after he was killed confronting a 7th grader who opened fire at his school on Monday morning.

Michael Landsberry, a popular 8th grade math teacher at Sparks Middle School, ran unarmed across the basketball courts towards the 14-year-old shooter and told him to put the handgun down, witnesses said.

The boy responded by shooting Mr Landsberry, hitting him once and killing him. The middle school student then turned the handgun on himself. It is believed the student stole the semi-automatic handgun from his parents’ home.

Mr Landsberry, a 45-year-old veteran Marine and member of the Nevada Army National Guard, had spent the past weekend celebrating his wedding anniversary with wife Sharon, family members said. The teacher also has two stepdaughters.

Mr Landsberry had served several tours of Afghanistan before becoming a much loved teacher. 

Mayor of Sparks Gino Martini told Piers Morgan on Monday: ‘It’s nothing that you ever think about happening to your town.

He discussed the tragic loss of Mr Landsberry: ‘Hard to believe that he went through what he did in Afghanistan, to be shot at school.’

It was announced on Monday evening that police are investigating the school shooting as a homicide.

Dozens of students posted comments on social media on Monday remembering the teacher who was known for his tough but fair attitude and sense of humor.

He had his own school website, where he adopted a jokey ‘tough love’ approach with his kids. He wrote: ‘I have one classroom rule and it is very simple: ”Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L.”’

One student Marlene posted a fond memory of her bald teacher on Twitter.

The pupil wrote: ‘When i took a picture with Mr.Landsberry he always told me, “Wait i gotta make sure my hair looks okay.”‘

Others posted messages saying that the fun-loving teacher would let them rub his bald head for luck.

Students, many of whom played on the soccer team that Mr Landsberry coached at the school, posted tributes to him.
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