Michael Landsberry had started his career as a Marine who served two tours in Afghanistan. He used his GI Bill to go to college to become a Mathematics teacher and got a job at Sparks Middle School in the Reno suburb of Sparks, Nevada. Michael quickly became a beloved teacher known for pushing his students, but doing it with love and compassion.
On October 22, 2013, Landsberry was getting ready for the morning bell, when a 12 year old student opened fired on his classmates. After the first student was shot, Landsberry calmly walked toward the shooter, putting his hands up in a motion to try to stop the individual’s actions. Landsberry’s military training kicked in as he tried to talk the shooter into giving up the weapon. The shooter told Landsberry to step back and as Landsberry followed the directive the student shot at him. Landsberry’s heroic actions, by stepping toward the shooter, allowed time for other students in the playground area to flee.