Billy Ray Cyrus calls slain Nevada teacher 'hero'

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Associated Press

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 1:00 AM

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus is honoring a Nevada math teacher killed by a 12-year-old student in a schoolyard shooting last year, calling him a "true American hero."

Cyrus praised Michael Landsberry and presented a memorial plaque to his widow, Sharon, during a concert Saturday night in Incline Village, a Nevada community on north shore of Lake Tahoe.

Police say Landsberry, a 45-year-old ex-Marine, tried to talk the shooter into turning over the handgun before he was shot in the chest Oct. 21 at a middle school in the Reno suburb of Sparks. The student wounded two classmates before taking his life.

Cyrus said he was moved by the story of Landsberry's actions and decided to recognize him when offered a chance to perform at Lake Tahoe.

He and his father, Ronald Ray Cyrus, made similar presentations honoring American heroes for more than a decade, and this marked the first time the country star has done so since his father's 2006 death.

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