Yet another US school shooting at a Middle School in the Midwestern state of Indiana has only injured two people largely due to a heroic effort by a young teacher who threw a basketball at the student shooter in his classroom.
The 29-year-old science teacher at Noblesville West Middle School -- identified as Jason Seaman -- saved lives when he threw the basketball at the seven-grader armed pupil during the Friday incident as he opened fire in the classroom, wounding the teacher as he reportedly swatted the gun away from the yet unidentified shooter.
One student was also wounded and is reported to be in critical but stable condition at a nearby children’s hospital in the state capital of Indianapolis. Local police spokesman Bruce Barnes further stated that Seaman remained in good condition, noting that “there were no apparent injuries to the alleged shooter.”
According to Police Chief Kevin Jowitt, the student attacker, who had asked to be dismissed from class before returning with two guns, was taken into custody “extremely quickly” following the Friday morning shooting at about 9 a.m.
A seventh-grader in the classroom at the time of the shooting, Ethan Stonebraker, said the shooter was acting suspiciously when he walked into the room while the class was taking a test.
“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” Stonebraker added. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”
He further told a local TV station that Seaman threw a basketball at the shooter and ran toward the bullets as screaming students sought cover. He also noted that he knew the gunman, whom he described as “a nice kid most of the times” and said he often joked with the classmates.
The school shooting occurred just a week after an attack at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas -- in which eight students and two teachers were killed -- and months after 17 people were killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
Seaman’s relatives said he was shot three times and was undergoing surgery, adding that he remained conscious following the shooting and talked with his wife.
Noblesville, which is about 20 miles north-east of Indianapolis, is home to about 50,000 people. The middle school has nearly 1,300 students from grades six to eight. The school’s academic year was scheduled to end next Friday.
This is while survivors of the latest US school shooting in Indiana waged a protest rally against the National Rifle Association (NRA) recruitment tent in their hometown on Saturday.
Local news outlet Fox 59 reported that the protest rally began when one Noblesville Middle School student was on his way to protest at the courthouse when he spotted the NRA recruitment tent outside of a gun store and decided to protest the tent instead.
Other parents and students made signs and joined the protest effort, growing the rally to about a dozen people.
Some of the signs held by protesters read "Let us heal" and "Who's next? No! Guns!"