Prosecutor: No info on Indiana school shooter until charges

May 29, 2018

Credit Provided by Whistler family & Southern Illinois University

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities will wait until charges are filed before releasing information about a suburban Indianapolis student who allegedly shot and wounded a 13-year-old classmate and a teacher, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor D. Lee Buckingham said in a statement that when a charging petition is filed against a juvenile for "an alleged act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, only then may very limited information be released."

The investigation into Friday's shooting at Noblesville West Middle School is ongoing, he said, and Indiana law protects the privacy of juveniles accused of crimes and limits what information can be released.

Buckingham said authorities cannot confirm the suspect's identity or describe the alleged offense until a charging petition is filed. It's unclear when any such charges might be filed.

Science teacher Jason Seaman is credited with tackling the male student after he shot and seriously wounded classmate Ella Whistler last Friday morning. She remained hospitalized in Indianapolis in critical but stable condition.

Witnesses said Seaman, a 29-year-old former college football player, ran toward bullets as he tackled the armed student.

Seaman, who was shot but not seriously injured, said Monday that his swift decisions in disarming the student inside his classroom "were the only acceptable actions" to save his seventh-grade students.

"I deeply care for my students and their well-being. That is why I did what I did that day," he said.

While other Noblesville students returned to class Tuesday, the middle school where the shooting occurred remain closed aside from offering counseling for students and staff shaken by Friday's shooting.

Noblesville police say officers have been posted in all schools in the Noblesville Schools district to "offer ... reassurance" for students during the final week of classes of the school year. Noblesville is about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis.