On October 21, 2013, 12-year-old seventh-grade student Jose Reyes opened fire with a semi-automatic gun, killing one person and injuring two more. Reyes was also killed, due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen, there were several factors that contributed to the shooting. Here is a summary of Allen's report:
- Both parents had the right to own a firearm and did not think Jose Reyes knew about the location of existence of the gun. Because the firearm was reasonably concealed at the residence, his parents were not charged with a crime.
- Among the aspects of Reyes' life Sparks Police investigated were: video game usage, web search history. Reyes' web search history included 'top 10 evil children,' 'bullying,' and 'columbine role playing game.' Sparks PD also found pictures of Columbine on his phone.
- Reyes may have been suffering from depression and was prescribed Prozac.
- There were several factors turned up in the investigation about Reyes' school life that may have contributed to his reaction. Reyes had trouble with English and had struggled with language from a young age, first grade. He was also reported as exhibiting signs of autism. Sparks Middle reports they showed anti-bullying videos at the school prior to the event. Some reports indicated that Reyes was made fun of during PE class, including being pantsed, made fun of for being gay, not having muscle, etc. These reports were unconfirmed.
- Police discovered two handwritten notes. One expressed the hurt and anger he felt as a result of how he was treated at school and how he was unable to cope with home life. In this note, he expressed desires for vengeance. In another note, that conflicted with the first, Reyes stated he did not do the shooting as a result of video games or bullying.
- Police issued a plea to students to be kind to one another and be diligent in reporting bullying.
- Police asked parents to keep a close eye on firearms and the behavior of their children; watch for signs on distress and pain.
- In light of the Sparks Middle School shooting and incident at Renown Medical Center, local law enforcement are developing a regional response plan for future active shooter situations.