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Hero teacher faces 13-year-old Noblesville school gunman during his first appearance in court

  • The 13-year-old boy was in an Indiana courtroom facing 11 charges Monday 
  • Among the charges were attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm on school property
  • A denial of the charges was entered by the Hamilton County Magistrate 
  • The boy allegedly entered a middle school science class and fired at students
  • His rampage was brought to a quick end by science teacher Jason Seaman, 29
  • Despite being shot three times, Seaman tackled the student stopping him from killing any of the students, although one girl, Ella Whistler, was wounded

By Associated Press and Dailymail.com Reporter

Published: 00:02 EDT, 11 June 2018 | Updated: 20:03 EDT, 11 June 2018

The middle school science teacher, who was credited with stopping a 13-year-old boy from killing any of his classmates during a shooting at an Indianapolis school, was in court to watch as the teen was read a list of the charges against him.

The 13-year-old boy who was accused of shooting up a classroom at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana, on May 25, showed no emotion and said little on Monday as a juvenile court judge read the attempted murder and other charges he faces.

The boy, who has not been named, wore an orange and white jail uniform as he sat between his parents during a hearing that lasted about 15 minutes. 

He answered 'Yes, your honor' and 'No, your honor' to questions from the judge.

Noblesville West Middle School teacher Jason Seaman (in khakis) heading to an Indiana courtroom to attend the initial hearing for the 13-year-old accused school shooter Monday
Noblesville West Middle School teacher Jason Seaman (in khakis) heading to an Indiana courtroom to attend the initial hearing for the 13-year-old accused school shooter Monday

Noblesville West Middle School teacher Jason Seaman (in khakis) heading to an Indiana courtroom to attend the initial hearing for the 13-year-old accused school shooter Monday

The 11 charges against him include two counts of attempted murder for the wounding of a seventh-grade classmate, Ella Whistler, 13, and science teacher Jason Seaman, who authorities say saved lives by tackling the shooter to end the May 25 attack at Noblesville West Middle School. 

Other charges include aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm on school property.  

The Associated Press has not identified the boy because he is charged as a juvenile.

Defense attorney Ben Jaffe told the judge that the boy wouldn't be talking about the allegations during Monday's hearing. Hamilton County Magistrate Todd Ruetz entered a denial of the charges, the equivalent of a not-guilty plea.

The boy's parents gave similar short answers to the judge during the hearing and avoided reporters as they left the courthouse.  

Seaman, 29, attended the hearing but also left without speaking with reporters. 

Seaman tackled the 13-year-old, who had walked into his classroom at Noblesville West Middle School, and opened fire on May 25, thus preventing the boy from killing any of his students.

Ella Whistler, 13, was wounded multiple times during the school shooting in late May
Ella Whistler, 13, was wounded multiple times during the school shooting in late May

Ella Whistler, 13, was wounded multiple times during the school shooting in late May

Teacher Jason Seaman was credited with preventing the shooter from killing students
Teacher Jason Seaman was credited with preventing the shooter from killing students
Days later, Seaman (pictured left with a student) was the guest of honor at a baseball game
Days later, Seaman (pictured left with a student) was the guest of honor at a baseball game

Teacher Jason Seaman was credited with preventing the shooter from killing students. Days later, Seaman (pictured left with a student) was the guest of honor at a baseball game

Seaman was shot in the hip, abdomen and arm, before tackling the shooter to the ground
Seaman was shot in the hip, abdomen and arm, before tackling the shooter to the ground

Seaman was shot in the hip, abdomen and arm, before tackling the shooter to the ground

Noblesville West Middle School student Kylie Cook leave court after attending the hearing for the accused school shooter Monday. Cook is friends with wounded student Ella Whistler
Noblesville West Middle School student Kylie Cook leave court after attending the hearing for the accused school shooter Monday. Cook is friends with wounded student Ella Whistler

Noblesville West Middle School student Kylie Cook leave court after attending the hearing for the accused school shooter Monday. Cook is friends with wounded student Ella Whistler

The 13-year-old accused shooter is said to have entered a middle school science classroom on May 25 and opened fire into it, wounding the teacher and a classmate
The 13-year-old accused shooter is said to have entered a middle school science classroom on May 25 and opened fire into it, wounding the teacher and a classmate

The 13-year-old accused shooter is said to have entered a middle school science classroom on May 25 and opened fire into it, wounding the teacher and a classmate

Seaman was shot three times in the tussle - in the hip, abdomen and arm - but was back on his feet within days.  

Whistler, who was not in attendance, was shot multiple times when the shooter stormed into the class and rushed to the hospital in critical condition. 

A friend of 13-year-old Whistler said she wishes the accused shooter could face criminal charges in adult court.

'He made an adult decision,' 12-year-old Kylie Cook said after Monday's hearing. 'You don't make a threat to bring a gun to school. You don't think it's OK to shoot someone and act like you're going to kill them.'

Under state law, the boy can't face adult charges because of his age. Prosecutors say children of 13 can only be waived to adult court if they are facing murder charges.

Whistler's family said last week that she remained hospitalized and faces a lengthy recovery after being shot seven times, including in her face, neck and upper chest. She suffered collapsed lungs, significant nerve damage and several broken bones.

Cook wasn't near the classroom where the shooting happened, but said she worried the accused shooter would say he didn't mean to shoot anyone. 

She said the boy's courtroom behavior was different from what she knows of him as an acquaintance.

'He's never that formal,' she said. 'He's always more of a joking-around kid, never actually like means what he's saying, and always just runs around and acts crazy with his friends. Seeing him that formal, and saying 'Yes, sir. No, sir. Yes, your honor,' it was just weird.'

The boy, who prosecutors say was armed with two handguns and a knife, is next scheduled to appear in court on June 25. But his attorney said he's not yet seen evidence from prosecutors and might ask for a delay.

'A case like this, complex, with as much going on, it is unrealistic to be at a trial stage, or at a stage of disposition, within three weeks or so,' Jaffe told WTHR-TV after the hearing.

If the boy is found guilty in the Noblesville shooting case, he could be ordered held at a state detention center for juveniles until he's 21, although typically juveniles are released when they turn 18, said Larry Landis, executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council. The boy could also be ordered to spend time in a mental health treatment center.

The boy is next due in court for a fact-finding hearing on June 25.

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