Nevada teacher killed while trying to stop student killer is among 22 named a Carnegie hero

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PITTSBURGH — A Nevada middle school teacher who was killed trying to stop a seventh-grader armed with a gun is one of 22 people being honored with a Carnegie Medal for heroism.

Students say 45-year-old Michael Landsberry walked calmly toward 12-year-old Jose Reyes at Sparks Middle School and asked for the weapon before Jose fatally shot him Oct. 21, 2013.

Jose had already shot one student in the shoulder in the play yard before classes began that day, and a former Washoe County school district police chief said Landsberry's actions gave other students time to run for cover.

The boy ended up wounding another student and firing two more shots into the wing of the school before fatally shooting himself to end the siege.

The new honorees, who will be formally announced Thursday, include three others who died trying to save others.

Ronald LaRue, of Mayfield, Kentucky, died attempting to save his 5-year-old grandson from drowning in the Penobscot River in Maine on Aug. 8, 2014. Karen Wessel, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died after helping save an 8-year-old boy from drowning in a Wisconsin lake on July 22, 2014. And Tou Hu Vang, of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, died trying to save his nephew from drowning May 25, 2014.

A Canadian man, William Ayotte, of Churchill, Manitoba, used a snow shovel to save a woman from a polar bear attack Nov. 1, 2013. Ayotte ended up being injured by the bear.

The other 17 winners are from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Utah, and the Canadian province of Ontario.

The Carnegie Hero awards are named for Pittsburgh steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was inspired by stories of heroism during a coal mine disaster that killed 181 people, including a miner and an engineer who died trying to rescue others.

The commission investigates stories of heroism and awards medals and cash several times a year. It has given away $37.5 million 9,797 awardees or their families since 1904.

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