Indiana middle school to reopen, 5 days after shooting

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NOBLESVILLE, IN - MAY 25: Police asses the scene outside Noblesville High School after a shooting at Noblesville West Middle School on May 25, 2018 in Noblesville, Indiana. Middle school students were taken to the high school for reunion with their parents. One teacher and one student were initially reported injured. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — A suburban Indianapolis middle school is set to reopen for classes on Wednesday, five days after a male student allegedly shot and wounded a 13-year-old classmate and a teacher who was credited with disarming the assailant.

Noblesville West Middle School will reopen Wednesday on a two-hour delay and operate on the same shortened schedule Thursday and Friday, which is the district’s final day of classes for the school year, said Noblesville Schools receptionist Jackie Chatterton.

The middle school had opened its doors Tuesday, but only to provide counseling for students and staff still shaken by last Friday’s shooting.

Noblesville police said officers have been posted at all the district’s schools to “offer … reassurance” for students finishing out the school year.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they must wait until charges are filed in the shooting before releasing information about the student who allegedly opened fire last Friday inside a classroom in the city about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.

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 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.

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