NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (AP) – A suburban Indianapolis teacher who was shot while attacking and disarming a student in his classroom said on Monday that his quick decisions were "the only acceptable actions" to save his seventh grade students. 19659002] Jason Seaman, speaking publicly for the first time since the shootout, thanked the Noblesville community for his support, stressing that he wanted to focus on the other person shot during the incident: 13-year-old student Ella Whistler, who was seriously injured.
"Their courage and strength at such a young age are nothing short of remarkable," Seaman said during a press conference in the school administration building. "We should all continue to hold them in our heads as she continues to recover."
School officials said Monday that Ella was getting better and progressing while recovering at a hospital in Indianapolis. Her family said she was in critical but stable condition after the shootout, although no further details of her injuries were released.
Seaman is credited with stopping an armed student entering his classroom at Noblesville West Middle School. Witnesses said the 29-year-old former college football player ran towards bullets as he attacked the student. Seaman was shot three times according to his brother
"I want to make it clear that I think that my actions on that day were the only acceptable action I could have taken in the circumstances," Seaman said Monday. "I deeply care about my students and their well-being, so I did what I did that day."
Seaman, who was released from hospital on Saturday, appeared to have no pain or signs of his injuries during the press conference. He only spoke for a few minutes, refusing to answer questions from reporters.
He was wearing a white T-shirt with the inscription: "#NOBStrong, you're the reason I teach." His shirt also showed the initials of the wounded student, EW.
The police said the shooter was quickly arrested after the shootings and did not seem injured. His name was not published.
"We are so grateful for Jason's quick and courageous actions," said Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer during the press conference. "He has put his own life at risk for his students, which alone tells you about his character and his big heart."
A school nurse and a school information officer immediately took care of the injured, said Noblesville West Middle School principal Stacey Shaw
"Jason Seaman is a hero, no doubt, but he is just one of the heroes I saw that day "Shaw said.
After the press conference, Seaman attended a Noblesville High School baseball game for high-grade students, including many who cried when they saw him for the first time since filming.
An online fundraiser for Seaman started by a high school student cost more than $ 72,000 by Monday noon, surpassing its original $ 55,000 target. Donations ranged from $ 1
"We have experienced a horrific and pointless tragedy," said Niedermeyer, adding that support from across the country was a "source of strength and beauty during this ugly tragedy." , 19659002] The school district will accompany the summer and the next school year in an advisory capacity, said Niedermeyer. The middle school should be closed on Tuesday to help students, staff and their families.
The Noblesville Police Department said they will have officers at every Noblesville school this week, "to assure them we're doing just as much. We can reassure them when they finish school."
By KEN KUSMER | Associated Press
Associated Press reporter Ed White of Detroit has contributed to this report.