NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- A teacher who was shot while tackling and disarming a student at an Indiana school said Monday that his swift decisions "were the only acceptable actions" to save his seventh-grade classroom.
Jason Seaman spoke publicly for the first time since the shooting Friday, thanking the Noblesville community for its support. He praised the 13-year-old student who also was shot and urged everyone to think about her as she recovers.
Seaman, 29, is credited with stopping an armed student who entered his Noblesville West Middle School classroom on Friday. The teacher was shot but not seriously injured. He was released from the hospital on Saturday.
"I want to make it clear that my actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances," said Seaman, a former defensive lineman at Southern Illinois. "I deeply care for my students and their well-being. That is why I did what I did that day."
Seaman spoke for just a few minutes and declined to answer questions from reporters.
"We're so grateful for Jason's quick and brave actions," Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer said during the news conference. "He put his own life in danger for his students. That alone tells you about his character and his big heart."
A school nurse and a school resource officer immediately provided medial attention to the injured, said Noblesville West Middle School Principal Stacey Shaw.
"Jason Seaman is a hero, no doubt. But he is only one of the heroes I saw on this day," Shaw said.
The family of the other person shot, student Ella Whistler, said she was in critical but stable condition. But school principal Stacey Swan said Whistler is improving.
"Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable," Seaman said. "We should all continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover."