2018 Noblesville West Middle School shooting
|2018 Noblesville West Middle School shooting|
|Part of school shootings in the United States|
|Location||Noblesville West Middle School|
|Date||May 25, 2018 |
9:06 a.m. (EDT)
The Noblesville West Middle School shooting occurred on May 25, 2018 in Noblesville, Indiana when a 13-year-old student shot and injured teacher Jason Seaman and student Ella Whistler. In response, Seaman wrestled the shooter to the ground. The school later reopened. The shooter confessed to the shooting and is serving time in a juvenile detention center.
The shooter asked to be excused during a science test. He returned to the classroom with two handguns and fired at two people: a thirteen-year-old student; Ella Whistler and the assailant's science teacher. The science teacher, Jason Seaman, threw a basketball at the assailant before wrestling him to the ground, sustaining bullet wounds in the process. Students recounted that Seaman was yelling at the students to shut up and to evacuate from the room. Seaman later stated that his actions were "...the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances."
Students were evacuated to the Noblesville High School gym. The Noblesville Police Chief stated that there was a secondary threat made at Noblesville High School, that was only a communicated threat but still prompted police to secure the area.
Police stated that the suspect was arrested shortly after the incident and that at the time of arrest he didn't appear to be injured. A school resource officer on the campus responded to the incident.
The Hamilton County prosecutors publicly released the name of the perpetrator and identified him as a male 13-year old Noblesville West Middle School student. However, most news outlets withheld reporting the name of the suspect because of his juvenile status and because he would not be charged as an adult.
A Noblesville Police Department spokesperson reported that the perpetrator had not been placed in the system prior to the incident at the school. Prosecutors have reported that at the time of his arrest the perpetrator possessed .22 caliber gun, a .45 caliber gun and a knife.
Classmates and friends of the perpetrator claim that he was normally friendly and funny, and openly interacted with other students.
The family of the perpetrator released a statement through their family attorney, Eskew Law Firm. In it the family expresses their shock from the actions of the perpetrator, and extend their thoughts, prayers and condolences to those involved specifically the two wounded victims. They acknowledge the lingering questions surrounding the act, and that they are waiting the results of the investigation and the judicial process.
A Public Information Officer Lt. Bruce A. Barnes for the Noblesville Police Department stated that the investigation was ongoing after the perpetrator was apprehended, and that numerous search warrants had been issued. The security video from the school was also reviewed as part of the investigation.
The perpetrator was in court for arraignment under a closed hearing, with no public allowed in the juvenile detention hearing in the Hamilton County Circuit Court.
The Prosecutor of the case sent a statement to the media in regards to the perpetrator and the shooting. In it, the Prosecutor states that only when a petition has been filed alleging the teen is a delinquent as a result of an alleged act that would be a felony under an adult, then very limited information may be released about the individual. A later announcement stated that the perpetrator could not be charged as an adult, as under current state law, a child 13 years of age can only be tried in adult court if the attempt to murder an individual results in death.
After the announcement of the Hamilton County Prosecutors Office that the perpetrator would be tried as a juvenile, there was a call to review Indiana's criminal code. The Indiana House Speaker stated he would review the current laws in relation to charging juveniles as adults, as "Given the heinous acts...I think it's important for us to take a thoughtful look at our criminal code and whether changes to the law are appropriate." Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb has backed statements made by the House Speaker.
On November 14, 2018, the shooter (who had confessed to the shooting) was sentenced to juvenile prison until he turns 18. Judge Felix determined that the Indiana Department of Correction may decide to put the shooter on probation until he turns 18.
Representatives Susan Brooks, Andre Carson, Todd Rokita, Luke Messer, Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett, March For Our Lives, US President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence all expressed reactions to the shooting.
The Indianapolis Colts invited Ella Whistler and her family to Colts training camp and gave them a standing ovation on July 30, 2018.
The Superintendent of the District called the shooting a "horrible and senseless tragedy" and that the community had shown "tremendous kindness, resilience and strength".
The IHSAA baseball sectional championship was still hosted by the Noblesville Schools with the game being played in honor of the two victims and donations and T-shirt sales would be used to help the victims families with costs.
A GoFundMe was created for Seaman by a Noblesville High School senior. The fundraiser raised over $75,000 in two days.
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- ^ "Boy accused in Noblesville school shooting appears in court". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
- ^ "Prosecutor's office: Law gives Noblesville shooter additional protection; cannot confirm shooter's identity". 13 WTHR Indianapolis. 2018-05-29. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
- ^ McKinney, Matt (2018-06-07). "Indiana law to be reviewed after Noblesville shooting suspect tried as a child". RTV6. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- ^ "Noblesville School Shooter Sent To Juvenile Jail: 'You Took This Community's Sense Of Safety'".
- ^ "Noblesville shooting: Community reactions on Noblesville West Middle School". IndyStar. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- ^ Trump, Donald John [@realDonaldTrump] (2018-05-26). "Donald J. Trump on Twitter: "Thanks to very brave Teacher & Hero Jason Seaman of Noblesville, Indiana, for his heroic act in saving so many precious young lives. His quick and automatic action is being talked about all over the world!"" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2018-05-26 – via Twitter.
- ^ "Karen and I are praying for the victims of the terrible shooting in Indiana. To everyone in the Noblesville community – you are on our hearts and in our prayers. Thanks for the swift response by Hoosier law enforcement and first responders". Twitter.
- ^ "Heroic Noblesville teacher Jason Seaman, school officials address Friday's shooting". CBS 4 - Indianapolis News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | WTTV. 2018-05-27. Retrieved 2018-05-28.
- ^ "Noblesville school district offers a way to help victims of middle school shooting". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 2018-05-26.