Nevada Shooter: Parents Could Face Charges

    October 23, 2013
    Erika Watts
    Comments are off for this post.

Tragedy struck Sparks, Nevada on Monday morning when a student opened fire at a middle school. A 12-year-old student at Sparks Middle School shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before turning the gun on himself. The boy’s parents may face charges, if it is determined that the gun used in the shooting came from their home.

A Ruger 9mm semi-automatic handgun was used in the shooting. Authorities suspect the gun came from the boy’s home, but are still investigating the matter. Sparks deputy police chief Tom Miller said that if the gun did come from the parents’ home, it will fall to a local prosecutor to decide whether to press charges. Miller said “the potential is there,” but was quick to point out that the parents of the boy were “fully” cooperating with police.

Nevada is one of twelve states that has a Child Access Prevention (CAP) law, which “prohibits only intentional, knowing, or reckless provision of firearms to minors.” Even if the boy’s parents don’t face criminal charges as a result of the shooting, they could face civil lawsuits, if the gun is determined to be theirs.

“It’s a fairly straightforward civil liability case that a parent can be held liable for failing to adequately secure a gun away from a young person, and there have been a number of civil suits over the years, and a number of reported cases around the country of holding gun owners to the highest degree of care in securing their weapons,” says Jonathan Lowy, director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

According to an editorial that was written in the Los Angeles Times, one writer believes that people should leave the parents alone. Do you think the parents should be singled out? Respond below.

Should the parents have locked the gun away so the boy didn’t have access to it? Absolutely. That’s an action any sensible gun owner should take. And I’m sure the parents are tortured by that very thought right now, as they deal with their grief at losing a child and their undoubted horror at the destruction he caused.

But singling them out for punishment is pointless. It’s taking the easy way out.

So far, police say they haven’t uncovered a motive for the shooting, but some students who were interviewed say the seventh-grader was bullied. Faith Ebans, a student who had a class with the shooter, said she believed he was made fun of at school.

“I saw kids pushing him around and doing a lot of mean things to him,” she said. “I guess one day he got tripped and my friends said, ‘Trip them back,'” Ebans said. “But I guess he just decided just to shoot them.”

Watch an interview where another students says the Sparks shooter was bullied:

Image via YouTube

  • Matt

    Check whether he was on psychotropic drugs. Zoloft? Ritalin? Prozak? Guns have been around for hundreds of years. Only recently since kids have been prescribed these mind numbing drugs have we had these senseless killings at schools. And ALL of the shooters have been on prescribed mind numbing drugs. We gotta end the drugging of children.

  • TT

    Bullying? Did the student shoot the ones that bullied him? Did he shoot the teacher because the teacher witnessed him being bullied and didn’t stop it? Guns have been around for years and the purpose of them is to kill point blank. Or are they for protection against harmful instances? Get rid of the guns. They serve and honor death. Let’s focus on the bullies. Round them up and whip there a***es. This is not violence it is discipline. Later for the time outs. My parents and my parents parents spanked a**. We have two children in school and everyday they come home we ask about bullying. This is a damn shame.

  • http://yahoo.com cherie thomas

    When are you going to understand that you have to teach children at home, that bullying others is not right and can be dangerous now more than ever. Children are learning that the only way to fight back is to kill, and it is on us as parent to stop this terrible situation. The more we ignore the signs the worse it will be. Prosecuting the parents may work and may not work, who knows. Nothing else has gotten a satificatory result. Gun lobbist don’t care their still making money.

  • Fred

    Of course they should be prosecuted. Only scum live in Sparks. Scum gotta’ go !!

  • Tim Hickey

    Any gun owner should be prosecuted if they don’t protect their guns from use by another. I have no problem with gun ownership, but it comes with the same responsibilities as a car, etc.

    • galeval

      You don’t need a 9mm semi-automatic handgun to protect your family, home, or hunting. So how and why this boy’s parents have one in the first place.

      • Sagehopper

        Let’s try this, galeval. You put a sign on your door saying you have no guns for a burglar or home intruder to fear. See what happens. The fact is, a person is deficient in protective skills if he doesn’t have some means of repelling a home invasion, or protwcting the family. Certainly a criminal loves an unarmed house.

      • Gayle

        Because Daddy is Mr. Macho Guy.

    • Jeff Cooper

      And what if… the gun was locked up and he sole the key? How far do we go to blame the parents and blame the gun. Wait for all the facts to come out. If this was the result of bullying I would blame the school more than the parents but that is pure speculation also.

      All this talk about keeping kids in school safe from outsiders and guns. Lets work on keeping them safe from their own classmates that don’t need a weapon to intimidate.

    • John Green

      So going with your argument, If my boy took my car, ran over and killed people, I should be prosecuted?

  • mik

    looks like fred lives in a glass house.

  • Larry

    Another reason not to own a gun. Guns don’t protect gun owners, they are used in unintended ways by unintended people. The vast majority of gun incidents are accidents/murder/suicide vs guns being used to protect. These Parent’s do not need a gun to protect their property anymore, their property now belongs to the victims of their carelessness.

    • Jimmy Lee

      Care to put up some stats on that? Gun owners protect far more people than are injured with LAWFULLY OWNED guns.

      • Gayle

        I’ve seen the stats and that’s simply untrue. You want to believe that more people are protected by guns, but the stats don’t add up.

        • Jimmy Lee

          You are wrong. If more people were armed, people would think twice about pulling a gun on anyone. That is a FACT.

      • Trish-Kitty

        I can put some stats on it. A study from 2010 revealed
        there 19.392 gun suicides,(I assumed most of these guns were lawfully owned) 606 unintentional gun deaths. only 230 JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDES (the least use for a gun, yet the most widely argued reason to have one…for your own protection)

        Sorry if they block the link but its below


  • Kristen

    I live in Reno, NV and I’m surprised that they haven’t named the shooter yet. I understand that he’s a minor, but so were the other shooters at other school shootings and they were named. I do hope that the parents are charged because it was their responsibility to keep their child safe. I don’t understand why they didn’t have a gun safe and have that gun locked up to protect themselves from situations like this. I wouldn’t be surprised if the father was in a gang, only because there’s no reason to have a gun like that in a home solely for protection and given the area that the school is in, it wouldn’t be surprising at all. I’m not being stereotypical at all…just stating what I know of that area since Reno/Sparks are practically ‘one community’.

  • Debra

    Even if the gun was properly locked up, almost any resourceful kid can get to them.In addition to the gun ownership info, I’d like to know what kinds of video games this young man played.

    • carol

      I was raised around guns all my life. I knew where my father kept the key to the gun safe, but never would have opened it up. Kids today are exposed to all sorts of horrible things and many times are left on their own to encounter all sorts of trouble. When are children ever going to learn that it is not ok to bully someone else? Sometimes these kids snap and act out violently and this is the result.

      • Gayle

        So, you’re saying that it’s OK that that he took his daddy’s gun to school???

  • Tami

    Wether you have a gun or not, when someone snaps and goes crazy nothing will protect you. I truly, truly believe that if someone wants to own a gun, the whole famiy should have to go through psych testing because it will show in their testing if they are about to go crazy. Here lately it’s gun owner’s famiy members who use them. The parents should not get charged for anything. What their son did was out of their control and they will have to live with the results the rest of their lives. Not only did their son die but he coldly shot and killed and wounded others first. Isn’t that punishment enough?

  • Listen.

    All yall pansies need to get away from guns for a second. Guns are not the problem. People are. It doesn’t matter what steps you take to protect people from themselves, if you don’t change people, you’re gonna have a problem one way or another.

    Take away guns and guess what? It’s easy as pie to make a potato blaster and fill it with shrapnel or make a one time use gun because all the info is available to do so online. If someone disturbed doesn’t do that, they can use the Internet to make explosives from household materials, or grab a knife from the kitchen.

    Point is, you don’t protect people from objects because deranged people are gonna be deranged and will find a way to harm no matter what you do. What you do is fix deranged people. All that money we spending on wars, we could be focusing on mental healthcare in our country, the only thing that will change these situations.

  • Mike

    We have many handguns and long-guns. When not on our person they are locked in our very large safe. That is our responsibility as responsible gun owners. Securing guns is the responsibility of each and every gun owner.

  • http://webpronews Frank

    Chicago Reports Highest Number of Murders in US During 2012. Guns are illegal there, so much for get rid of the guns and the violence goes away.. Don’t be stupid!!! This is a tragedy and I feel sorry for the teacher’s family. He is a true hero. We have a mental health problem here.

  • Kurt Krueger

    Absolutely the parents should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law! That gun should have
    been locked up AND have a trigger lock on it…… PLUS, the ammo should have been locked away in a
    different location.

    • Rob

      i totally understand where you are coming from. but if the point of having this gun was for “protecting the family” then keeping the ammo to far from the gun would be pointless if a home invasion were to occur. but definitely locked up and a trigger lock for sure. and those parents are responsible. sure they didn’t make the kid fire but their lack of responsibility with the gun and possible neglect of the child’s problems allowed for this to happen.

  • Jacqueline

    I imagine the parents are bating themselves up quite well over this shooting, especially if they look back and see that there were warning signs they should have recognized. I do not see the point of civil suits as that will not bring back the lives lot or ease any pain and suffering. The parents of the shooter will have to live with this the rest of their lies, I think that is punishment enough.

  • Dan Brandon

    The child was probably a problem to begin with. When I was a kid you had to worry about being placed in one of two reform schools. They would put you away until you were 21 for causing problems involving the police if you repeated. Believe me some of my friends were put away. Today they leave you on the streets and blame your parents. SAD> I met a friend that became an printing pressmen in one of the two reform schools in CT and was my boss at one time.