Two other students were critically injured in the violence that erupted shortly before classes began. One is out of surgery and the other is doing well.
A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire on campus, killing a staff member who was trying to protect other children, police said on Monday.
The suspected gunman was also dead, and authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement.
Two other students were critically injured in the violence that erupted around 7.15 a.m. local time, shortly before classes began on Monday. One is out of surgery and the other is doing well, according to police.
Police said between 150 and 200 officers responded to the shooting.
Students from the middle school and next door elementary school were evacuated to the nearby high school, and classes were cancelled.
At the evacuation centre, parents walked with their arms around their children, some of whom were in tears.
“We came flying down here to get our kids,” said Mike Fiorica, whose nephew attends the school. “...It’s really chaotic. You can imagine how parents are feeling. You don’t know if your kid’s OK.”
The shooting happened on the school’s campus, but outside the school building itself, according to police.
Governor Brian Sandoval issued a statement after hearing about the shooting.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning. My administration is receiving regular updates and the Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene,” he said. Sandoval extended his thoughts and prayers to those affected.
The school, located in a working class neighbourhood, enrolls about 700 students in 7th and 8th grades.
The violence erupted nearly a year after a gunman horrified the nation by opening fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, leaving 26 dead. The December 14, 2012 shooting reignited debate over how best to protect the nation’s schools and whether armed teachers should be part of that equation.
Washoe County School District held a session in the spring in light of the Connecticut tragedy to educate parents on what safety measures the district takes.