Indiana teacher swatted gun away, tackled shooter, student says

Indiana teacher swatted gun away, tackled shooter, student says
© WRTV-Indianapolis via CNN

A science teacher may have prevented more injuries during Friday's shooting at an Indiana middle school, according to one student who said the teacher confronted the shooter and tackled him to the ground.

The student, seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker, told The Associated Press that the teacher, Jason Seaman, ran at the gunman — who reportedly is also a student at the school — and swatted the gun out of his hand.

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"If it weren't for him, more of us would have been injured for sure," Stonebraker said.

A number of students' parents described to the Indy Star how Seaman, a former defensive end for Southern Illinois University, blocked the shooter.

Seaman's brother, Jeremy, said he wasn't surprised to hear of his brother's reported actions.

“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," Jeremy told the Star.

Stonebraker said the shooter began firing in the classroom after reportedly asking to be excused from class, later returning with guns.  

Two people — Seaman and a student — were taken to hospitals after the shooting, although three people were reported injured, Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said on Friday.

Seaman, according to his brother, was shot three times and was undergoing surgery, but was awake and speaking with his wife in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

The suspect, who has not yet been identified publicly, has been taken into custody.

Students from the middle school were taken to nearby Noblesville High School, where their families were instructed to pick them up. Jowitt said the high school received a secondary threat, and that officers were "diligently ensuring the safety of students and staff there."

The shooting at the middle school in Indianapolis's suburbs comes a week after a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School near Houston killing 10 people and injuring 13 others.

Updated at 4:19 p.m.