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'Shock and terror' remain two years after Noblesville West Middle School shooting

Posted at 8:53 PM, May 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-25 20:53:04-04

NOBLESVILLE — Two years ago, our community was changed forever when a 13-year-old shot his teacher and a classmate at Noblesville West Middle School.

Ella Whistler and Jason Seaman both survived. Jason, a teacher, stopped the shooter from hurting anyone else. The day was chaotic and hard for everyone.

Out of respect for the community, WRTV isn't showing any videos of the students coming out of the school with their hands up.

Alexa Griffith's frantic conversation with her oldest son about the incident is something she will never forget.

"He's saying these things through huffs and puffs and crying," Griffith said. "I can hear the kids in the background and it dawned on me. This is real, this is real."

Griffith raced to the school, trying to call her husband, not knowing if her youngest son, Jack, was ok.

She later got a call from his teacher.

"She was with my son in an ambulance on the way to the hospital," Griffith said. "He had fallen. They had barricaded the doors and he had fallen on the barricade and sprained his ankle."

Once Griffith was able to get with her family, they all started working through the trauma of the horrific event.

"Unfortunately, it hit us really close to home," Courtney Daily, of the Bloomington Chapter of Moms Demand Action, said. "One of our state leads, a moms demand member, had her two soon at that school."

There were calls for gun law changes, which turned into a political fight and resulted in no significant law changes.

"There was a lot of meshing of if you want to have safer guns law then that somehow means you're against guns," Griffith said. "I support your right to bear arms and the second amendment and I still believe we should have common sense gun legislation."

Since the incident, the school district has made several security changes. This is something Griffith said she is thankful for, even though no gun law changes were made.

"I am so pleased and happy and proud of that, those movements," Griffith said. "Individual school systems are able to come up with on their own, but we also need to focus on before the child brings the firearm to the school."

The school district did not hold any type of memorial or event marking the first or second year since the incident. Some in the community were surprised by this.

"It was quite disappointing," Griffith said. "A lot of the students wanted to put together an activity to honor the anniversary and to honor the experience and the lingering effects of the school shooting."

RTV6 reached out to the school district, Ella Whister's family and Jason Seaman and is awaiting a response.

The shooter was not charged as an adult and will be in a juvenile detention facility until he is 18.