An Indiana middle school science teacher was being hailed for his quick actions Friday after he reportedly tackled a student who barged into his classroom and opened fire.
The teacher, Jason Seaman, and a 13-year-old female student were both wounded by gunfire inside the Noblesville West Middle School and were being treated at area hospitals, police said.
The student who was injured was in critical condition, police said Friday evening; the girl’s family said that she is stable and is doing well at the hospital. Seaman said in a statement that he was injured but “doing great.”
Meanwhile, police were questioning the shooting suspect — a male student — and trying to come up with a motive, Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said.
It was not immediately clear where the student got the two weapons he was armed with, how he got them into the school, or whether he was targeting anybody in particular.
“The preliminary information is that a male student asked to be excused from his class,” Jowitt said. “He left the classroom. He then returned with two handguns.”
Jowitt said the police are still investigating “what happened in the classroom” and added, “It was resolved pretty quickly.”
But seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker said Seaman, who is also one of the school’s football coaches, probably averted a massacre at the school, which is located 20 miles north of Indianapolis.
“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” Stonebraker told The Associated Press. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”
Seventh-grader David Veschak told NBC News that he was in the classroom next to Seaman’s when he heard “a really loud noise.”
“I thought someone dropped a science book,” he said.
The next thing he heard was Seaman yelling for somebody to call 911.
Seaman’s brother Jeremy told The Indianapolis Star that he was a former defensive end for Southern Illinois University — and a gutsy guy.
“It’s not surprising, to be honest,” he said of his brother’s reported heroics. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away. When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”
The shooting at the school, which has more than 1,300 pupils, was reported at 9:06 a.m., Jowitt said.