SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada seventh-grader who went on a deadly shooting rampage at his school nearly seven months ago had been teased at school and was taking a prescription antidepressant, police said Tuesday.
Jose Reyes, 12, opened fire Oct. 21 at Sparks Middle School, killing a teacher and wounding two classmates before committing suicide. He brought the semi-automatic handgun from home.
At a news conference Tuesday, Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen released key findings from an investigation into the shootings. Among them, he said, was that Reyes had told a psychotherapist that other students made fun of him and called him names.
Allen said the investigation found signs that classmates did mistreat Reyes, but there wasn’t enough evidence to merit charges.
For instance, he said, police learned one of the students shot during the rampage had teased Reyes about not having muscles during a physical education class. Other students called Reyes names and accused him of wetting the bed, the police chief said.
Allen also said Reyes had been showing signs of autism, and had searched online for videos about the Columbine High School massacre and other school shootings.
The police chief included a message to students during the news conference: “Be nice. Be kind. Treat your fellow students with respect. We’re all a little different. It matters.
According to the investigation’s findings, three days before the shooting, Reyes’ father took him to a psychotherapist, who said the boy showed signs of depressive disorder. Reyes had an antidepressant in his system at the time of his death.
The findings also showed Reyes left two suicide notes.
In one, he expressed anger that he was mistreated and embarrassed at school. In the other, he said the shooting was not a result of violent video games or bullying.
Reyes also wrote that he wished he had been a better son, the report said.
Also said authorities determined during the investigation that no charges were warranted against Reyes’ parents.
Police earlier said the parents could be charged if they knowingly made the handgun available to the boy.
But Allen said Tuesday the investigation turned up no evidence that Jose and Liliana Reyes were aware that their son knew where the 9 mm pistol was kept above the refrigerator.
Under Nevada law, no crime is committed if the gun was stored in a place a “reasonable person would have believed to be secure.”