CHICAGO (CBS)— A teacher and a student were wounded Friday morning, when another student opened fire inside a middle school near Indianapolis.
Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said the shooting happened around 9 a.m. at Noblesville West Middle School. A male student asked to be excused from science class, and left the room, and when he returned, he was holding two handguns, and began shooting.
Jowitt said the situation was “resolved extremely quickly,” and the student was taken into custody. The chief said the exact circumstances of what happened in the classroom have not yet been determined, because police have not interviewed the student and teacher who were wounded. The suspect was not injured.
A teacher who was wounded was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital, and a student who was wounded was taken to Riley Children’s Hospital, according to Jowitt. According to published reports, the student is a 13-year-old girl. Authorities declined to provide their conditions.
The Indianapolis Star reported the teacher who confronted the suspect is Jason Seaman. His brother told the paper Seaman was shot three times.
His mother, Kristi Seaman, posted on Facebook that her son was out of surgery and is “doing well.”
The Seaman family, based on social media posts, is from downstate Mahomet, Ill. which is about 130 miles west of Indianapolis.
Seaman played football at Southern Illinois University and is a football coach at the middle school.
The shooting happened one week after two teachers and eight students were killed, and 10 other people were wounded in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Two days before the Texas shooting, a student opened fire on a school resource officer at Dixon High School in Illinois, just outside an auditorium where graduation practice was being held. The officer shot and wounded the suspect, who was arrested before anyone else could be injured.
So far this year, there has been an average of one school shooting a week in the U.S.
“Here we go again. Here we go again, and it’s just really, really, really unfortunate,” Jowitt said. “It’s just another cotton-picking sad day, and it just happens now to be in Noblesville, Indiana.”
Noblesville West eighth-grader Chris Navarro told the Associated Press he was inside an auditorium when he counted hearing 16 gunshots about a minute before the bell rang for the change in classes.
“The speaker came on and said we were on lockdown and people rushed in and we went to the back of the room. I went into this little room in the back with three other people,” he said calmly standing between his parents as they picked him up.
Noblesville Schools Supt. Dr. Beth Niedermeyer said she has visited the families of both victims.
“They are so appreciative of this community, and the outpouring of love that they’ve felt from everyone,” she said.
Niedermeyer said the hospitals have asked the victims’ friends and loved ones to send them well-wishes by texts, emails, or cards, but to stay away from the hospitals, “and let the families have some peace at this time.”
Police said the crime scene was limited to the classroom. Detectives are investigating how the student got the guns he had, and police have issued several search warrants. Investigators also said they do not know yet if the shooter had any previous problems at school or run-ins with police.
Noblesville West does not have metal detectors, but does have an armed school resource officer who responded to the shooting.
The school was evacuated after the shooting, and students were taken to Noblesville High School.
Police said there was a “secondary threat” made at Noblesville High School, but police said a command post had been established there to protect the school, and there was no danger.
“We have not received any information that this has been anything other than a communicated threat,” Jowitt said.
Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, tweeted about the shooting:
The Indiana State Teachers Association also issued a statement on the shooting:
“Our hearts go out to the students, educators, families and community members of Noblesville who this morning faced a senseless act of gun violence at Noblesville West Middle School. We understand at least one student and an adult may be injured, and we are praying for the best.
This national crisis has landed in our backyard. We all have a responsibility to keep our kids safe from violence, and it’s unconscionable that they live in fear that one day their school may be next. When is enough, enough?
Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough to keep our students and educators safe. We need to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. We now know that it is up to communities, families, activists, educators and the students themselves to stand up and demand that those who are trusted with protecting them do their jobs.”