Guns

Parents of 12-Year-Old Nevada School Shooter Could Face Charges

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The parents of the 12-year-old student who opened fire at a Sparks, Nev., school on Monday could face charges.

The 12-year-old killed a popular math teacher and injured two male classmates before he killed himself.

Police believe the shooter, whose name has not been released, attained the Ruger 9mm semiautomatic handgun from his home. His parents are reportedly cooperating with police. Authorities are still attempting to trace the origin of the gun.

The boy was a seventh grader at Sparks Middle School. He shot a male classmate in the shoulder at 7:15 a.m. Monday morning, shot the teacher, 45-year-old Michael Landsberry, in the chest, and then shot another male classmate in the stomach.

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Landsberry was a well-known teacher who had worked at the school since 2006. A former Nevada National Guardsman, he survived two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He was reportedly trying to protect his students when he was shot Monday.

A student told “CBS This Morning” that the shooter was motivated by revenge.

“He pointed to us and he said, ‘You ruined my life and now I’m going to ruin yours,’” said Alfrancis de Vera.

Nevada is one of 13 states that prohibit the intentional, knowing or reckless provision of firearms to minors. The state doesn’t have a Child Access Prevention (CAP) law requiring parents to store guns safely out of the reach of children.

Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller said the decision to charge the boy’s parents is left to the local prosecutor.

Even without a CAP law, some prosecutors are able to charge to gun owners who fail to keep guns out of the hands of children.

“It’s a fairly straightforward civil liability case that a parent can be held liable for failing to adequately secure a gun away from a young person, and there have been a number of civil suits over the years, and a number of reported cases around the country of holding gun owners to the highest degree of care in securing their weapons,” Jonathan Lowy, director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told Christian Science Monitor.

Sources: Christian Science Monitor, CBS News