Friday, May 25th 2018. 9:06 am, Noblesville West Middle School, Indiana
Written on July 7th, 2018
Written and edited by: Laur Baird
A male student, 13, asked to be excused from his class to go to the bathroom, and returned to his classroom with two handguns. One student and one teacher were injured when the student opened fire in the classroom. The student, named Ella, 13, was shot seven times, while her science teacher, Mr. Seaman, 29, was shot three times. Ella was shot in the face, neck, hand, and upper chest. Mr. Seaman was shot in the forearm, abdomen, and hip. “My actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done,” said Seaman, several days after the shooting took place.
The suspect used one gun to shoot, which was a .22, and had another gun in his pocket, which was a .45, along with a knife. He will not be tried as an adult in court, because the murder attempt was not successful.
“I had just checked the time, when a few shots echoed through the building. I didn’t know what it was, it sounded like fireworks.” This was a statement made by a good friend of mine that I interviewed, who is a student at Noblesville West. She had been in the hallway at the time the shooting began. “Our Vice Principal came on the intercom as soon as the shots rang out and stated, “There is an active shooter in a seventh grade hallway, please perform your Alice positions.” The Alice procedures state that you should never open the door for anybody outside of the classroom for safety. She was in a seventh grade hallway, the one next to where the shots were coming from. “I began crying and shaking,” she did the only thing she knew she could do- she ran towards one of the classrooms with the doors shut, and lights off. She knocked on the door and told the people inside her name, and told them that she was stuck in the hallway. She then ran inside the classroom once the teacher had opened the door for her and slammed it shut again, hurrying over to where her other classmates were sitting. She sat down next to her friends, holding hands for support as they waited.
A police officer came over the intercom and announced to everybody that the suspect was in police custody. “Everyone stood up, some crying, and texting their parents… people lined the streets with cameras and phones, recording us leaving the school.” The students got on a bus and drove to the highschool nearby, where a man told them all to get into a classroom. They led the middle school students out in groups of ten. There were around one thousand, three hundred students present.
The shooter had been known to most neighbors as a normal, average kid. Although, a few neighbors had a different image of him. One neighbor said that two boys had seen the suspect, months before the shooting, playing with a gun. They said that they were not sure if the gun was real or not. The boys ran home and told their parents, and the parents called the Noblesville Police to investigate.
A student, who was in a seventh grade science class at the time of the shooting, said that they made improvised weapons and were prepared to defend themselves, if it would come to that. They tied a rope around the inside of the door, so if somebody tried to open the door, they wouldn’t be able to get inside the room. They went into a room inside their classroom that was off limits. He said that students were crying and asking questions, and nobody knew what was going on.
When asked by a reporter, a female student said that she never would have thought this would happen to her school. “You never actually think that it could happen so close to home, that it can affect people you know,” said Ciara, who goes to Noblesville high school.
I had the privilege of interviewing another student from the middle school, who was in the classroom where the shooting took place. “I was taking a test… I heard the first shot and looked up to see that it was one my classmates that was just in the classroom with me.” She said that her teacher, Mr. Seaman, told his students to get down, and she grabbed her phone while dialing 911. She was the first person to call the police, and she stayed on the line while she exited the classroom, running into the neighborhood as she left the school. She said that she never could have imagined he would do anything like he did, and that he was always trying to make others laugh. I asked her if she still thinks about the shooting, she responded with, “yes. I think about it all the time, almost every second of every day.”
I am grateful to say that as of writing this in July, both Ella, and Mr. Seaman have both made a physical recovery. Ella had a neck brace on during the fourth of July parade in Noblesville, where she rode in the parade. Although Ella may not have come to the full realization of what happened to her that day, she is on the road to recovery, and is staying strong every step of the way. Mr. Seaman has been declared a hero by his fellow students and staff, as well as members of the community.