Ex-SIU player Jason Seaman shot 3 times, intervened to stop attacker

Jason Seaman, a former defensive lineman at Southern Illinois, was the teacher who intervened to help stop a shooter at a middle school in Indiana on Friday.

Seaman was shot three times -- in his abdomen, hip and forearm -- after a student armed with two handguns opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School in suburban Indianapolis on Friday morning.

Seaman released a statement Friday evening confirming he was injured and thanking first responders.

"First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care," Seaman said. "I want to let everyone know that I was injured but am doing great. To all students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach."

Police said Seaman, who is hospitalized in Indianapolis, is in good condition.

Police say the female student wounded in the shooting is in critical condition. Noblesville police Lt. Bruce Barnes said in a news release Friday night that the girl was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital. She has not been identified.

Police said there were no apparent injuries to the alleged shooter, who was not identified.

Students and parents said Seaman, a science teacher who also coaches football and track, helped stop the shooter, who pulled out a gun and opened fire while a seventh-grade class was taking a test.

"Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,'' seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker said. "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.

Jacob Long, an eighth-grader, said students throughout the school were crying in their classrooms while teachers took off their belts to tether doors.

Long knew Seaman because he played football and ran track for him.

"He's a good coach and a good teacher," Long told the Indianapolis Star, "an all-around good guy."

Mac Lynas, a seventh-grader who also played football for Seaman, said, "He's a good coach, a good person."

Janna Lynas, Mac's mother, said Seaman cares about the kids. "More than just developing football players," she said, "he wants to develop kids into young men."

Seaman played at Southern Illinois from 2007 to 2010. He played in 47 career games and tallied eight sacks with two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Nick Hill, the head football coach at SIU and a former teammate of Seaman's, called Seaman a hero in a tweet on Friday.

Jerry Kill, the former SIU football coach who oversees the Salukis' athletic department, recruited Seaman.

"Someone asked me if I was surprised by what he did, and I said 'absolutely not,' he was our type of kid," Kill said. "That's what he stood for. He's a great young man."

Jeremy Seaman told the Indianapolis Star that his brother's actions did not surprise him. "He's not really ever been the person to run away," Jeremy Seaman said. "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."

Jeremy Seaman said his brother was a three-sport athlete in Mahomet, Illinois. He tore an ACL playing basketball in his junior year but was back on the football field in August.

"He's familiar with struggle and adversity," his brother said.

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 through 8. The school's academic year was scheduled to end next Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.