Become peacemakers was the message delivered Wednesday evening at a candlelight vigil for the victims of a northern Nevada-area school shooting.
Organized by the Reno and Sparks, Nev., interfaith community, hundreds of people gathered to pray, mourn and heal at Sparks Middle School, the site where Monday a 12-year-old boy shot and killed a math teacher and wounded two students before taking his own life.
The students shot were described as in stable condition, and did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
According to Reno Gazette-Journal, many of those who attended came to honor Michael Landsberry, the teacher, retired Marine and member of the Nevada Air National Guard. A poster called him “the real Batman” -- an homage to his favorite superhero -- and “A true hero!” Landsberry, 45, was shot after attempting to approach the shooter and have him drop the semiautomatic handgun.
Students present at the time of the shooting told the Gazette-Journal they overheard Landsberry say "Put it down, it's not worth it" to the boy, and that the teacher also told others to run to a safe place. One group of students ran toward a courtyard near the school gym, where boys crouched around the girls present in protection as they called 911 and their parents.
At the end of the vigil, the Rev. Howard Dotson of Spanish Springs Presbyterian Church asked for those in attendance to take a pledge.
"I will be a peacemaker. I will be a peacemaker," he said.
While the students' stories have stitched together an account of how the tragedy unfolded Monday, little remains known about the student who initiated it.
Sparks police have declined requests to release the student’s name until their investigation concludes, and media have refrained from publishing a possible name that has circulated online until authorities confirm it.