LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- A high school student who read military books and habitually wore an Army fatigue jacket gunned down his psychology teacher and wounded two other students before he was shot by police, authorities said.
Officials and students at Valley High School were shocked by the Friday shooting spree and the death of teacher Clarence Piggott, 55, who was shot in the heart at point-blank range with a round from a .22-caliber pistol as six students looked on.
Patrick Lizotte, 17, who was struck in the right chest and left thigh by police fire when he pointed his gun at an officer, was listed in stable condition at Sunrise Hospital where he was charged with a count of murder and two counts of attempted murder, authorities said.
Police said the student walked into a classroom Friday morning and shot Piggott at point-blank range.
After the shooting, the high school senior left the building and walked across a parking lot, firing another shot which missed a male student. Police said he then shot and wounded two other 17-year-old students who were walking to school.
Police trailed Lizotte, who was on foot, to a street corner about a half mile from the school. An officer shouted two warnings and shot Lizotte two times when the youth raised his weapon and pointed it at the officer, police said.
The two wounded students, Jose Garcia and Martin Jameson, were listed in stable condition at the hospital following surgery.
Piggott, who had taught for 19 years and was popular with students, died about an hour after he was shot.
'It is a mystery.' said senior April Harris. 'Nobody disliked Mr. Piggott. Nobody could say anything bad about him.'
Classmates described Lizotte as 'quiet, but stiff.'
They said the dark-haired youth read a great deal, often checking military books out of the library, and 'did not get along' with Piggott.
Martin Lizotte, the boy's father, said Patrick was a quiet boy who liked to read and to play games.
'He was a normal child this morning,' said the retired Army veteran. 'I don't know what happened.'
But a teacher at the school said the slain instructor thought he was 'troubled.'
'Piggott said the kid was troubled,' said Walt Mason, a government teacher at Valley. 'He was sure he was unbalanced. He was trying to reach out to him.'
Classes were dismissed for the day when school officials learned the popular teacher had died. A memorial service for Piggott was scheduled for Monday in the school auditorium.