A student opening fire with a handgun he took from his parents. Screaming students running for cover. A teacher, trying to help, shot dead. Two students wounded. The terror lasted just a few brutal minutes.
As authorities investigated, details were still trickling out hours after a deadly shooting Monday at a Nevada middle school.
One official described the scene at Sparks Middle School with one word: chaos.
Students described to CNN how they ran into the school screaming and crying when they realized the pops they heard were gunshots just before the morning bell welcomed them back from fall break.
The shooter took a handgun from his parents, a federal law enforcement source who was briefed on the situation told CNN's Evan Perez.
The gunman eventually shot and killed himself with the semiautomatic gun, Sparks Deputy Chief Tom Miller said Monday evening at a news conference.
Authorities said the shooter's motive was unclear.
"It's too early to say whether he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree," said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department.
Teacher loved his kids, brother says
Mike Landsberry, a popular math teacher at the school, was killed in the shooting, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told CNN.
In addition to his work as a teacher, Landsberry also had served in the Marines and served several tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, his brother, Reggie, told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
"He was the kind of person that if someone needed help he would be there," Reggie Landsberry said. "He loved teaching. He loved the kids. He loved coaching them. ... He was just a good all-around individual."
Reggie Landsberry said his brother was probably trying to "talk the kid down and protect whoever he could. That sounds like Mike."
One student told "Pier Morgan Live" that she knew the student who shot Landsberry and wounded two 12-year-old schoolmates.
"He was really a nice kid," Amaya Newton told CNN. "He would make you smile when you were having bad day."
He even offered to buy other students something to cheer them up, Newton said.
Newton said she thought the two students who were wounded were friends of the shooter.
She and her mother, Tabatha, said they thought the shooter had been bullied in the past.
Student Faith Robinson said she was standing to the side of one of the school buildings where she heard shots and saw Landsberry killed. She told CNN that she ran into the school and was separated from her friends.
"I start getting really worried and then I was trying to get a hold of my Mom," she said.
Terra Robinson was just a few minutes away when she got her daughter's distressing call.
By the time she got to the school there was a sea of flashing lights and panicked parents, she said.
The superintendent of Washoe County Schools said there were many heroes.
"Including our children who, even though school hadn't started, when the teachers came out, they listened to them and they went into their classrooms immediately," Pedro Martinez said.
Witness: Teacher tried to get student to put gun down