Police release findings of Sparks Middle School shooting
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Police say a seventh-grader in Sparks had been teased before killing a teacher, wounding his classmates and taking his own life in October. On Tuesday, police released their findings on the Sparks Middle School shooting.
Before the shooting, Jose Reyes searched online for a Columbine massacre role playing game and videos on "Top Ten Evil Children". He'd also been teased in gym class for a speech impediment and said he was called "gay" by other children. Police didn't find enough to pursue charges of bullying under Nevada law, though.
Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen says Reyes owned dozens of violent video games, but his parents had taken reasonable steps to conceal his father's gun, which was a gift, not a sale at a federal store. They had no clue about his plans.
"Both unequivocally stated that they did not believe their son had any knowledge of the firearms location , he did not know how to operate the firearm, he did not show any interest in firearms, and he was not a child that acted out in violence or aggressive behavior in the past," Allen says.
That means they can't be charged. His father had previously self-reported and plead guilty to child abuse. That also doesn't disqualify him from owning a gun.
Days before the shooting, Reyes had begun taking antidepressants and the autopsy found Prozac in his system. Two handwritten suicide notes give conflicting motivations for the attack. One indicates he wanted revenge on his classmates for making fun of him. The other says that's not the reason and is an apology to his parents for not being a better son.
"The evidence shows that suspect had difficulties in middle school at both and academic and social level and was showing signs and symptoms of autism. Additionally, the suspect felt inadequate in his dealings with his family. There's also potential external influence on the suspect to include the internet, phone searches, video games and other materials" Allen says.
Allen says they'll never know the full reason behind the shooting. Math teacher Michael Landsberry, who was killed, never taught Reyes. It's reported that one of the children shot by Reyes did tease him at some point. But, Reyes never told anyone about his plan.