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Last updated: October 25. 2013 5:38PM - 939 Views
Associated Press



Hundreds of students and residents attend a candlelight vigil at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, in honor of slain teacher Michael Landsberry and two 12-year-old students who were injured after a fellow student open fire at the school on Monday, before turning the gun on himself.  (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
Hundreds of students and residents attend a candlelight vigil at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, in honor of slain teacher Michael Landsberry and two 12-year-old students who were injured after a fellow student open fire at the school on Monday, before turning the gun on himself. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)
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(AP) The Nevada middle school student who killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before turning the gun on himself appeared to be a typical 12-year-old who liked soccer, was good at video games and didn't have a lot of friends but "didn't seem to be a loner," a friend said Friday.


Jose Reyes was always smiling and never complained to his friend Diego Munoz, 11, that he was bullied, Munoz told The Associated Press outside Sparks Middle School where Reyes fatally shot math teacher Michael Landsberry before committing suicide Monday on the school's asphalt basketball court.


"I was really surprised he would do something like this," said Munoz, a sixth-grader at neighboring Agnes Risley Elementary.


"When I heard it was him who was the shooter, I went into a stupor and asked, 'Why did he do it?'" he said.


Reyes played soccer and often rode his bicycle in the working class neighborhood around the school, about 5 miles northeast of downtown Reno, Munoz said. He said the two played video games together, including Zombie games and the online building game Minecraft, and both were fans of MTV's comedy clip show, "Ridiculousness."


"He was more like your typical 12-year-old," Munoz said. "Right now, we all want to be popular. He wasn't one of those kids. He didn't have a lot of friends, but he had a couple of friends. He didn't seem to be a loner."


"He never told me he was bullied," he said. "Whenever we would go outside he was always smiling. He seemed happy ... He seemed intelligent. He won video games more often than not.'"


Munoz' remarks echoed those of other students who described Reyes as a shy boy, who nonetheless had friends and usually a smile on his face. He played the violin, according to his school music teacher, and was a big fan of the video game, "Call of Duty," other classmates have said.


Police have released little information about the shooting. They say he got the semi-automatic handgun from his residence, but they have no motive and don't know if Reyes was targeting victims or firing randomly. They didn't release his name until Thursday under pressure from the public and local media.


School officials confirmed the investigation includes a review of an anti-bullying video that some students saw earlier this month that includes a dramatization of a child taking a gun on a school bus to scare aggressors.


Washoe County School District spokeswoman Victoria Campbell said school officials were examining the video but couldn't comment because it's part of the broader investigation into the shooting just outside the school building about 5 miles northeast of downtown Reno.


Reno's KRNV-TV reported that some students said they watched the video, entitled "Bully," earlier this month. The station has broadcast excerpts.


Katherine Loudon, the school district's director of counseling, equity and diversity, said anything that would have been presented to children would have been part of a district-wide bullying prevention and intervention initiative that includes all schools in the county.


"We've been told by Sparks Police Department to not discuss that particular curriculum," Loudon said.


About 700 people, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, students, parents and siblings, attended a private ceremony Thursday morning in the school's gymnasium, which students had decorated with posters, tributes, balloons and stuffed animals in recognition of Landsberry.


The 45-year-old had served as a Marine and coached basketball and soccer. He was known by all as a big fan of Batman. In addition to drawings and references to the cartoon super hero, one unidentified veteran left the U.S. Navy Medal for Meritorious Service he earned in Iraq, with a note that read, "You deserve the medal of honor in my book."


"It's heartbreaking," school district police Chief Mike Mieras said Thursday.


Loudon said it was important for the children to have a chance to get back inside the school before classes resume Monday.


"Kids want to know, 'What does their building look like? Is it OK? What is everything like?'" she said.


School Superintendent Pedro Martinez said in an extensive email to all district parents that officials are reaching out to provide counseling and other services. Parents were encouraged to do the same.


"It is difficult to imagine something of this nature happening in our own community and impacting us so closely," Martinez said. "We know we will be feeling many emotions as we struggle to understand and cope with this incident," he wrote.


Martinez outlined a variety of resources available to families, including a crisis call center and Northern Nevada Mental Health Services.


Hundreds of students gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil outside the school, where community leaders and clergy offered prayers and words of encouragement.


____


AP writer Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas contributed to this report.


Associated Press
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