David J. Moore, a 13-year-old Noblesville West Middle School student is being charged in the May 25 school shooting that left two people injured. Hamilton County (Indiana) Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II says Moore is being charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery, and two counts of ‘Battery by Means of a Deadly Weapon,’ all felonies. He’s also facing two counts of Possession of a Firearm on School Property, and two counts Dangerous Possession of a Firearm, both Class A misdemeanors, and one count of Possession of a Knife on School Property, a Class B misdemeanor.
“The fact that a child has been alleged to be delinquent is merely an accusation, and the child is presumed innocent until and unless proven delinquent (guilty),” Buckingham said. Moore will not be tried as an adult because no one was killed, according to prosecutors.
Moore’s initial hearing has been set for Monday, June 11, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. A trial date will be established during that hearing.
Moore is alleged to have shot seventh grader Ella Whistler and teacher Jason Seaman before being tackled and disarmed by Seaman.
Here’s what you need to know:
1.Moore, Now Charged With Attempted Murder, May Have Threatened a Shooting the Day Before
Prosecutor Buckingham said, “While the investigation into the shooting and possible related crimes remains ongoing …Moore, age 13, is a delinquent child. Specifically, the petition alleges that Mr. Moore committed acts that would be felony or misdemeanor crimes if committed by an adult…”
“As a Prosecuting Attorney I do not make the laws applicable to criminal or juvenile cases. My office works diligently to seek justice and enforce the laws as they exist. Under current Indiana law, this case is not eligible to be heard in adult court despite the heinous or aggravated nature of the alleged acts and despite the serious harm caused,” he said.
According to a statement released by Buckingham, Moore cannot be tried in adult court.
“…a child thirteen (13) years of age can only be waived to adult court if the attempt to murder an individual or individuals is actually successful,” Buckingham said. “In this case, due to the heroic and extraordinary efforts of many people, including teachers, a school nurse, the Noblesville Police Department School Resource Officer, and many other first responders and medical providers, thankfully, Jason Seaman and Ella Whistler survived. This blessing results in this matter remaining in the juvenile justice system under our current laws, a result which will, I am sure, be very troubling and unsatisfying for many people.”
A tweet posted the day of the shooting suggested Moore said he was going to “shoot up the school.” Authorities have not confirmed this account.
“Obviously now we know it wasn’t a joke. Even if it was someone should have said something to a teacher to let them take action. Crazy.”
2.Moore Asked to Leave Class & Came Back With Two Guns & Started Firing, Police Said
During a press conference police confirmed that Moore, the alleged shooter, requested he be allowed to leave the classroom and then a few minutes later, returned armed with two handguns. It’s reported that a number of shots were fired. The 13-year-old girl was shot as was Seaman who tackled Moore and shouted for students to run and call 911, the Indianapolis Star reported.
Police said law enforcement officers from local, county, state and federal agencies responded to the call of an active shooter that came just after 9 a.m., during the first class period of the school day, and were on the scene within minutes. The school resource officer from the Noblesville Police Department responded immediately, police said.
A “shots fired” report came from the second floor of the building and SWAT was on scene and a helicopter was requested.
By 9:30 a.m. responders said the suspect was in custody: “The one shooter is detained. Unsure if there are others… SWAT team has responded and inside the school.”
Reports Sunday said it was the Noblesville Police School Resource Officer Michael Steffen that heard the shots, rushed to the classroom and, police told local media, and another police officer reported that Steffen “helped stop shooter after Jason Seaman tackled him” and then attended to the injured.
“Not only did he go towards gunfire, address the threat, and provide medical attention, he has been a part of establishing a culture of awareness and safety at NWMS.”
The official press release said, “Officers located the alleged shooter and two victims in a classroom in the school. The alleged suspect was taken into custody and the victims were immediately treated for gunshot wounds. The victims were identified as a female student and a male teacher. The alleged male suspect was identified as a student.”
3. Seventh Grade Student Ella Whistler & Her Science Teacher Jason Seaman Were Shot; Seaman Tackled the Shooter & Took Three Bullets to Save Students
Ella Whistler was first transported by ground ambulance to Riverview Heath in Noblesville before later being transported by air ambulance to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, police said. As of Friday night, she was listed in critical condition but her family was despite that, she was “stable.” The Whistler family have a statement to local media.
“Our daughter Ella Whistler was involved in a horrific shooting today at her school. We will spend the next days and weeks processing what happened and why. But first, we wanted to say she’s doing well at Riley Hospital for Children. Her status is critical, yet we are pleased to report she is stable. We’d like to think everyone across the country who prayed for our family today. We felt those prayers and appreciate each of them. We’d also like to thank the first responders, Noblesville Police Indiana State Police and the medical staff and surgeons at Riley. Please do not contact our family for further comment at this time. We appreciate you respecting our privacy as we support Ella in her recovery.”
Science teacher Jason Seaman, 29, of Noblesville, who tackled and stopped Moore, sustained three gunshot wounds, one in his abdomen, one in his hip and one in his forearm, his mother said. He was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Seaman was declared a hero and likely saved the lives of his students when he disarmed Moore, students, parents and authorities said.
Krisit J. Hubly Seaman posted on Facebook that her son was shot and asked for prayers.
“Please pray for my son Jason. This morning there was a shooting at his school Noblesville West Jr High. He was hit 3 times & is undergoing surgery now. We are told he is in good condition but haven’t gotten to see him yet. I thank God that no one was killed.”
Two hours later, she updated her Facebook to share that her son Jason was out of surgery and was in good condition. And by late Saturday afternoon, was out of the hospital.
Seaman thanked reponders and his students.
“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured but am doing great,” Seaman said in a statement released Friday night from his hospital bed.
“To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”
Seaman was released from the hospital Saturday. Moore did not sustain any injuries, police said. On Memorial Day, Seaman spoke about the incident and said he did it for his students.
4. ‘Absolutely Terrifying,’ is How the Shooting Was Described by Students & Families. Noblesville Schools Are Providing Crisis & Trauma Counseling & Support
My little sister should not have to hide from an active shooter in her classroom. She should not have to run–scared for her life–to a safe haven. She should not have to worry about one of her classmates bringing a gun to school. THIS NEEDS TO END. KIDS LIVES ARE MORE IMPORTANT.
“The text my sister sent to my mom this morning after running from her school and into a neighborhood nearby. Absolutely terrifying.”
Some students took matters into their own hands in an effort to keep classmates safe. “Luke Daniels, a 7th grader at #Noblesville West Middle School says he along with other students were cuddled together, crying & prayer after they heard shots fired,” local media reported.
Noblesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Beth Niedermeyer issued a letter to students, famines and the community as a whole.
“I am still still processing my emotions about today’s terrible tragedy and I know you must all be as well. I met this afternoon with the victims and their families and want you to know that Noblesville Schools is standing by to provide them support in whatever way we can. The families expressed to me that they appreciate the outpouring of love and support they have received today,” she wrote. Counseling support for students, teachers, and family members has been ongoing and will continue for a number of days, she said. Events were canceled and though school will resume on Tuesday May 29, ‘West’ will only be open and in session form 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Niedermeyer thanked “Noblesville West administrators, staff and students who stayed calm, showed courage and followed our safety protocols,” and thanked law enforcement, rescue, fire, and emergency responders who “answered the call, collaborated and responded quickly and calmly. They have helped tremendously in dealing with this terrible situation. Our elected officials, community leaders, business leaders and parents have also been lending support today and I’m so grateful for how we as a community have pulled together.”
She closed by asking people to “keep our injured school family members and their families in your thoughts and prayers.”
On Memorial Day, the Noblesville Police Department reassured students and families that there would be a police presence in all schools Tuesday. We’ll be there.”
5. A Hoax Shooting Threat Put Noblesville High School Temporarily on Lockdown, The Place Where Middle Schoolers Were Being Moved to Safety. Saturday Was a Day For Vigils, Moments of Silence & Protests
As parents were arriving at Noblesville High School to pick up their kids the school was placed on lockdown after a threat of a shooting was received. After a period of time, with scores of anxious parents outside, SWAT and K9 swept the school and it was all clear.
Indiana State Police Cpt. David Bursten told Fox 59 news that law enforcement would track down whoever made the threat “and that person will be arrested and prosecuted to the highest degree.” It was reported Saturday night that two people were questioned in reference to the threat but were released.
Meanwhile, police said students would be released to parents with identification and advised parents to “stay calm and show ID, adding “If you haven’t received a call, your child is OK.”
In a statement issued Friday night, the police department shared its gratitude.
“Lastly, it is from the very bottom of our hearts that we say “thank you” to all of the local, county, state and federal emergency service agencies, Noblesville School Corporation, local, county, state and federal elected officials, community groups, local businesses, citizens and media outlets for their assistance, patience and outpouring of concern during this tragic incident,” the statement read.
By Saturday, some were feeling moved to speak up about gun control. The Noblesville West Middle School shooting was the 23rd this year.
Ray Kenley, the grandson of former Republican state senator Luke Kenley told Fox 59 he made a “sign and wanted to take it to a courthouse, but then I saw the NRA tent on the way.”
People staffing an NRA informational and recruitment tent told the young protesters and some parents to clear out but local media reported they stayed put on the sidewalk and the group grew in size. Earlier in the day, student protesters gathered at the statehouse.
Mayor John Ditslear and his wife Terry asked the NRA to pack up its tent out of respect. “They declined and asked the Ditslears to leave.”