NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – The teacher who tackled a shooter at Noblesville West Middle School and swatted the gun away was identified by numerous parents and students as seventh grade science teacher and middle school football coach Jason Seaman.
A seventh grader who was in the classroom where the shooting took place told WXIN the students were in class when the suspect asked to be excused. He later returned with two handguns and opened fire. Students said a 13-year-old girl was hit.
That’s when Seaman tackled the shooter and swatted the gun away from him, possibly saving others from getting injured.
According to the Associated Press, Seaman was shot three times. He underwent surgery.
Jason Seaman releases a statement
Friday night, Jason released a statement:
“Thank you to the first responders from Noblesville & Fishers for their immediate action & care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured [but] am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful & I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”
His brother Jeremy Seaman tells The Indianapolis Star that his brother was conscious after the shooting and talked with his wife, telling her he was OK.
Jeremy says his brother was a defensive end for Southern Illinois University's football team and has never been a person to run away.
Police say the teen victim was transported to Riley Hospital for Children and Seaman was transported to IU Health Methodist Hospital. Officials say they will not yet release the conditions of the victims.
A student who wished to not be identified told WXIN he was in the classroom and sitting near a student who was shot.
"He took about four to five, maybe six shots, one of them hitting a girl that was about ten feet from me," the student told WXIN. "Mr. Seaman started running at him, he’s a teacher, a science teacher-- he tackled him to the ground, we were all hiding in the back of a classroom behind some desks, then he was yelling to call 911 to get out of the building as fast as we could, so we ran down the stairs and just ran down here, we ran down the sidewalk into Prairie Crossing."
The student described his teacher's actions as heroic.
"He’s a hero," the student said. "If he didn’t do anything he probably would have continued shooting and a lot more of us would have been injured and possibly killed, so it was just something that not most people would have done but he was really brave to do it."
The student said this is the type of person the teacher and football coach is.
"I’d say it's something I’d see from him, he would do this type of thing, he’s a really good guy," he said.
Seaman played football for Southern Illinois University.
Head SIU football coach Nick Hill played a season with Seaman.
"He was a great teammate, one of the team's hardest workers. You could always trust him to do the right thing," Hill said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.AlertMe