Teacher who stopped attack says he had to save students - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Teacher who stopped attack says he had to save students

Posted: Updated:
NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -

A suburban Indianapolis teacher who was shot while tackling and disarming a student inside his classroom said Monday that his swift decisions “were the only acceptable actions” to save his seventh-grade students.

Jason Seaman, speaking publicly for the first time since the shooting Friday, thanked the Noblesville community for its support and stressed that he wanted the focus to be on the other person shot during the incident: 13-year-old student Ella Whistler, who was seriously wounded.

“Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable,” Seaman said during a news conference at the school district’s administrative building. “We all should continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover.”

School officials said Monday that Ella was improving and making progress while recovering at an Indianapolis hospital. Her family has said she was in critical but stable condition following the shooting, though no other details about her injuries have been released.

Seaman is credited with stopping an armed student who entered his classroom at Noblesville West Middle School. Witnesses said the 29-year-old former college football player ran toward bullets as he tackled the student. Seaman was shot three times, according to his brother.

“I want to make it clear that my actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances,” Seaman said Monday. “I deeply care for my students and their well-being. That is why I did what I did that day.”

Seaman, who was released from the hospital Saturday, didn’t appear to show any pain or other sign of his injuries during the news conference. He spoke for just a few minutes and declined to answer questions from reporters.

He wore a white T-shirt emblazoned with the message: “#NOBStrong. You are the reason I teach.” His shirt also showed the wounded student’s initials, EW.

Police have said the shooter was quickly arrested following the shooting and didn’t appear to be injured. His name hasn’t been released.

“We’re so grateful for Jason’s quick and brave actions,” Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer said during the news conference. “He put his own life in danger for his students. That alone tells you about his character and his big heart.”

A school nurse and a school resource officer immediately provided medial attention to the injured, said Noblesville West Middle School Principal Stacey Shaw.

“Jason Seaman is a hero, no doubt. But he is only one of the heroes I saw on this day,” Shaw said.

After the news conference, Seaman attended a Noblesville High School baseball game, high-fiving students, including many who cried when they saw him for the first time since the shooting.

An online fundraiser for Seaman started by a high school student totaled more than $72,000 by midday Monday, surpassing the original goal of $55,000. Donations ranged from $10 to more than $3,000.

“We endured a horrific and senseless tragedy,” Niedermeyer said, adding that support coming in from across the country has been a “source of strength and beauty during this ugly tragedy.”

The school district will provide counseling throughout the summer and into next school year, Niedermeyer said. The middle school was scheduled to remain closed Tuesday to provide counseling for students, staff and their families.

The Noblesville Police Department said it will have officers at every Noblesville school this week “to offer some reassurance that we are doing as much as we can to put them at ease as they finish the school year.”

___

Associated Press reporter Ed White in Detroit contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Exposed handlebar grip kills 6-year-old Pullman boy in bicycle crash

    Wednesday, August 15 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-08-15 06:13:21 GMT

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>

    PULLMAN, Wash. - Six-year-old Denny Curran should be enjoying his last few days of summer before first grade. He should be teasing his brother, splashing in the pool, giving his parents a hard time about vegetables. Instead, Denny is dead, the victim of a horrific, freak bicycle accident that could happen to your child too. "Denny was an extraordinary child," his father Keith Curran told KHQ.

    >>
  • Central Washington school district shortens school week to 4 days

    Central Washington school district shortens school week to 4 days

    Friday, August 17 2018 2:10 AM EDT2018-08-17 06:10:51 GMT
    Photo: PixnioPhoto: Pixnio

    SEATTLE (AP) - A school district in central Washington state is moving to four-day weeks when the school year begins later this month. KING-TV reports the Waterville School District will hold classes Monday through Thursday, giving students and faculty three-day weekends. Superintendent Tabatha Mires says the change aims to increase staff retention and recruitment as well as boost attendance and improve classroom experience.    

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - A school district in central Washington state is moving to four-day weeks when the school year begins later this month. KING-TV reports the Waterville School District will hold classes Monday through Thursday, giving students and faculty three-day weekends. Superintendent Tabatha Mires says the change aims to increase staff retention and recruitment as well as boost attendance and improve classroom experience.    

    >>
  • Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Police say possible bad batch of drugs hits Spokane

    Thursday, August 16 2018 2:25 AM EDT2018-08-16 06:25:12 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. It's been 24 hours of chaos for Spokane's police and fire departments. They have been running from call to call with reports of people walking in the middle of the street yelling at random people or at objects that don't exist. What Caused it? The Spokane Regional Health District is still struggling to find out "What we are hearing is that these individuals are demonstrating almost what would be what looks like a stimulant psychosis,"  said Doctor Bob...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Former Spokane police sergeant denied new trial after rape conviction

    Former Spokane police sergeant denied new trial after rape conviction

    Friday, August 17 2018 12:41 PM EDT2018-08-17 16:41:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A judge in Spokane has rejected a new trial for a former Spokane police sergeant convicted of sexually assaulting a female police officer during a drunken house party three years ago.    The Spokesman-Review reports that Gordon Ennis sought a new trial after blaming his first attorney for not adequately casting doubt on the victim's testimony.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A judge in Spokane has rejected a new trial for a former Spokane police sergeant convicted of sexually assaulting a female police officer during a drunken house party three years ago.    The Spokesman-Review reports that Gordon Ennis sought a new trial after blaming his first attorney for not adequately casting doubt on the victim's testimony.

    >>
  • Decision soon on whether to file charges in bridge push

    Decision soon on whether to file charges in bridge push

    Friday, August 17 2018 12:38 PM EDT2018-08-17 16:38:13 GMT

    VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say they'll decide soon whether to charge a woman accused of pushing her 16-year-old friend off a bridge in Washington state, an incident that was captured on video.    Police have identified 18-year-old Taylor Smith as the suspect in the Aug. 7 incident. Jordan Holgerson, 16, was pushed off a bridge at Moulton Falls northeast of Vancouver, Washington, and fell 60 feet.

    >>

    VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Authorities say they'll decide soon whether to charge a woman accused of pushing her 16-year-old friend off a bridge in Washington state, an incident that was captured on video.    Police have identified 18-year-old Taylor Smith as the suspect in the Aug. 7 incident. Jordan Holgerson, 16, was pushed off a bridge at Moulton Falls northeast of Vancouver, Washington, and fell 60 feet.

    >>
  • Police probe whether beheaded cat related to other killings

    Police probe whether beheaded cat related to other killings

    Friday, August 17 2018 12:34 PM EDT2018-08-17 16:34:33 GMT

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Police say investigators are trying to determine whether a beheaded kitten's head found this week is related to a series of cat killings in the area.    The Olympian reports Lacey police Cmdr. Jim Mack said the head was found in a wooded area near Clearbrook Drive Southeast and Yonkers Drive Southeast.

    >>

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Police say investigators are trying to determine whether a beheaded kitten's head found this week is related to a series of cat killings in the area.    The Olympian reports Lacey police Cmdr. Jim Mack said the head was found in a wooded area near Clearbrook Drive Southeast and Yonkers Drive Southeast.

    >>