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Gun violence in the US

Two injured after US high school pupil opens fire with gun during a science test

One boy at the school, where pupils are aged 11-14, said a science teacher likely prevented even more injuries by confronting the shooter

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 5:39am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 10:33pm

A male student armed with two handguns opened fire at a middle school in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday morning, wounding another student and a teacher before being taken into custody, authorities said.

Ethan Stonebraker, who is around 13 years old, said a science teacher likely prevented even more injuries by confronting the shooter, who he said pulled out a gun and opened fire while students in the class were taking a test.

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“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” Stonebraker said. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”

The attack at Noblesville West Middle School happened around 9am, said Police Chief Kevin Jowitt. He said the suspect asked to be excused from class before returning with the guns, and investigators believe he acted alone.

“We do know the situation resolved extremely quickly,” Jowitt said. Police indicated the shooter acted alone.

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The heroic teacher was subsequently identified as science teacher Jason Seaman. His brother, Jeremy, said that the teacher had been shot three times and was undergoing surgery, but had been conscious and talked to his wife.

The injured pupil has not been identified. Indiana University Health spokeswoman Danielle Sirilla said Seaman was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital and the wounded student was taken to Riley Hospital for Children. She didn’t know the seriousness of their injuries.

Jennifer Morris, who was among the worried parents who rushed to get their children, appeared slightly dazed and said she was at work when her 14-year-old son sent a text message about the shooting, stunning her.

“He said, ‘I’m OK, please come get me.’ That was probably 20 minutes after it happened,” Morris said.

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“It’s like a bad dream. I don’t know how you get the kids through this. This isn’t something you’re trained for as a parent.”

Chris Navarro, who is in the eighth grade, which serves children aged 13-14, said he was inside an auditorium when he heard several 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.

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After the Indiana attack, students were taken to the Noblesville High School gym, where hundreds of parents and other family members arrived to retrieve them.

The attack comes a week after an attack at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, that killed eight students and two teachers, and months after the school attack that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida.

The Florida attack inspired students from that school and others throughout the country to call for stricter gun control measures.

Noblesville, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometres) northeast of Indianapolis, is home to about 50,000 people.

The middle school has about 1,300 students aged 11-14. The school’s academic year was scheduled to end next Friday.