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July 31, 2014

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Parents recall hearing news of Sparks Middle School shooting

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Kevin Clifford / AP

A Sparks Middle School student cries with family members after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School, where some students were evacuated to after a shooting at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev. on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 in Sparks, Nev.

Sparks Middle School Shooting

Jeannette Vasquez, 14, and Carlos Lara, 13, were among hundreds of students and residents who attended 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.  Launch slideshow »

Parents of Sparks Middle School students gathered outside Sparks High School Monday morning to take their children home after a shooting at the middle school left two people, including a teacher, dead and two injured.

Middle school students began arriving at the high school more than an hour after the shooting. Washoe County School District buses pulled up to a north door of the school at 820 15th St. From there, the students walked into the school.

Amaya Newton, a Sparks Middle School student, left early for school on Monday. Her mother, Tabitha Newton, was helping her other children get ready to meet the school bus when a friend told her about the shooting. Then she heard it from Amaya’s boyfriend.

“When we found out about it, I was just in a panic. I was in a panic because I didn’t know if she was okay. Then we found out she was okay” Newton said. “She’s my life.”

Parents were asked to fill out information sheets provided by the school district in order to pick up their children.

Abner and Doris Lopez walked out of the high school with their son Abner about mid-morning.

Doris Lopez hurried to the high school when she heard the news. Abner’s father, Abner Lopez, arrived as well.

“We’re glad he’s here, he’s safe, and we’re praying for all the families and people that were involved with that, and the teachers,” the father said. “We’ll keep them in our prayers.”

Roxann Carley left the high school with her son Hunter about 10 a.m.

Hunter and his friends heard the shots and thought someone had discharged a cap pistol. Then they heard someone yell, “gun.” Teachers sent them into classrooms and told them to stay there until further notice, Hunter said.

“I flipped out when I heard,” said Roxann Carley, who had attended Sparks Middle School as a child. “You never expect that to happen in Reno.”

Gina England and husband Michael awaited reuniting with their son in front of the high school after learning the news on the radio.

“I thought, ‘I gotta go get my kid,” Gina England said.

Tabitha Allen waited to go inside the school to get her daughter Xena.

Allen had heard about the shooting when “Xena’s best friend’s mom came to the house,” she said.

The mom’s son had called her and told her about the shooting and that he was with Allen’s daughter and another friend.

“We came here,” Allen said.

Of the teacher who was killed, Allen said, “he’s a great hero. He knew he put himself in harm’s way and he did it for the kids.”

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