On May 25, 2018, a student at Noble West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana, asked to be excused from class to use the restroom. When he returned, he was holding two handguns and opened fire on his classroom. Ella Whistler, a seventh grade student, was shot numerous times sustaining grave injuries. However, 29-year-old teacher Jason Seaman launched into action before others were hurt. He was able to disarm the boy and restrain him until police arrived. In addition, the school nurse, Megan Schlueter, was able to offer lifesaving treatment until emergency personnel got to the scene, according to RTV6 News.
Young Ella spent much of her seventh grade year in the hospital while the community prayed for her recovery. In total, the 13-year-old was shot seven times, bullets entering her face, neck, hand, and chest. She underwent emergency surgery at Riley Children’s Hospital for an assortment of broken bones, collapsed lungs, and extensive nerve damage. Meanwhile, Seaman was also injured while trying to protect his students. He has since recovered from his injuries.
"The Noblesville Police Department honored the heroes of the shooting at Noblesville West Middle School Thursday.
Police in Noblesville don't often recognize civilians, but the actions of a school nurse, a classroom teacher and others helped save lives."https://t.co/ZKZUgaW5fO
— ALICE Training (@ALICEtraining) February 8, 2019
Ella miraculously survived the ordeal and is now slowly getting back into her normal life. The teen and her family are forever grateful for the school staff that likely saved her life.
Both Seaman and Schlueter were recently awarded the Distinguished Citizen Award by the Noblesville Police Department. Police Chief Kevin Jowitt spoke of their immense bravery when their own lives were on the line. Both individuals put the needs of their students above their own and remained focused throughout the entire event.
“Jason Seaman distinguished himself through personal bravery and intrepidness at the risk of his own life without hesitation, as he apprehended an armed assailant in the classroom. His extraordinary acts in the face of personal danger and his professional response during the incident are to be commended. Megan Schlueter’s actions in this incident, while under extreme duress, demonstrated her commitment to providing the highest standard of patient care.”
In addition, two of the school’s resource officers were awarded the department’s Lifesaving Award. Patrolman Michael Steffen and Sergeant Andrew Reiss were recognized for their heroic actions during the shooting.
Because the suspect in the Noblesville shooting was underage, his name was not released publicly. He will be held in a maximum security juvenile jail at least until his 18th birthday. However, law enforcement could decide to keep him on probation until he is 22-years-old. For many in the community, the sentence was simply not harsh enough.