Jason Seaman, a former defensive lineman at Southern Illinois, has been identified by parents and students as the teacher who intervened to help stop a shooter at a middle school in Indiana on Friday.
Seaman, a science teacher, was shot three times after a student armed with two handguns opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School in suburban Indianapolis on Friday morning, his mother said on social media.
A student was also wounded in the shooting. Police did not identify the victims, but Kristi Hubly Seaman said on Facebook that her son Jason Seaman had surgery after being shot in the abdomen, hip and the forearm and was doing “well.”
Jeremy Seaman also confirmed to The Indianapolis Star that his younger brother was the teacher who was shot.
Students and parents told multiple media outlets that Seaman helped stop the shooter, who pulled out a gun and opened fire while a seventh-grade class was taking a test, according to students.
“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”
Police said a male student asked to be excused from class before returning with the guns, and investigators believe he acted alone.
Authorities referred to a prompt and heroic response but didn’t confirm accounts of the teacher tackling the student or describe the role of the resource officer who was stationed at the school.
When asked to elaborate on his praise of the response, Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said: “Wait ’til one day we can tell you that story. You’ll be proud of them, too.”
Seaman played at Southern Illinois from 2007 to 2010. According to school records, he played in 47 career games and tallied eight sacks with two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
According to a social media profile, Seaman, who is married and has two young children, also coaches football for the seventh-grade team.
“It’s not surprising, to be honest,” Jeremy Seaman told The Indianapolis Star about his brother’s action Friday. “He’s not really ever been the person to run away. When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”
Noblesville, which is about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is home to about 50,000 people. The middle school has about 1,300 students in grades 6-8. The school’s academic year was scheduled to end next Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.