The hero teacher shot tackling a middle school student who opened fire in his Indiana science classroom last Friday said he acted on instinct and did only what he thought was right.
“I want to make it clear that my actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances,” Jason Seaman, a seventh-grade science teacher at Noblesville West Middle School, said at a press conference before a baseball game at the school, local station Fox 59 reports.
“I deeply care for my students and their well-being,” said the 29-year-old educator, who wore a t-shirt bearing the quote, “You Are the Reason I Teach.”
“So that’s why I did what I did that day,” he said.
Seaman was going about his regular routine Friday when an armed student, 13, entered his Indiana classroom and began firing, the Indianapolis Star reports.
Thinking fast and using his skills as a football coach and former college defensive lineman, Seaman lunged at the suspect and tackled him to the ground — stopping the suspect but getting shot in the process.
Authorities have not released the name of the suspect because he is a minor.
When the suspect entered the class, “Mr. Seaman started running at him,” one student told reporters after the shooting, according to CNN. “He tackled him to the ground. We were all hiding in the back of a classroom behind some desks, then [Seaman] was yelling to call 911, to get out of the building as fast as we could, so we ran.”
In the short time the suspect was in the classroom, he also shot a 13-year-old female student.
Despite the gunshot wounds Seaman sustained, he remained at the girl’s side until help came. During the press conference, Seaman praised the girl for staying “alert and calm” while she waited for EMTs to arrive.
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“I’m can’t say enough how proud of [the girl] I am, and how we all should be,” he said. “Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable, and we should all continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover.”
The girl remains in critical but stable condition and is recovering, Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer said Monday, CNN reports.
During the press conference, Seaman downplayed his heroism, thanking other teachers, police and first responders for their actions in helping stop the suspect and avoiding further harm.
“In the last couple of days, I’ve heard story after story of how members of the Noblesville West family conducted themselves that day,” he said. “I couldn’t say enough times how proud of them I am.”
He called the school resource officer who raced to his classroom to help an “unbelievably brave colleague.”
The student was arrested in or near the classroom, police public information officer Lt. Bruce Barnes said, according to CNN.
Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said during a press conference on Friday that the suspect had asked permission to leave the classroom and “returned armed with two handguns,” CNN reports.