iStock/Thinkstock(NOBLESVILLE, Ind.) — A middle school boy allegedly opened fire at an Indiana school Friday morning, police said, leaving a teacher and another student injured, the latest in a string of school shootings this year.“I heard gunshots and a few screams,” a seventh-grader who was across the hall from the shooting told ABC News. “I was scared, I was in shock.” The suspected shooter, a student at Noblesville West Middle School, located about 27 miles north of Indianapolis, asked to be excused from class and then returned to the room armed with two handguns, Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt said at a news conference.The teacher and student victims were shot in that room, Jowitt said, adding that the situation was resolved quickly. The suspect, who wasn’t injured and wasn’t identified, was taken into custody, police said.One student said he was in class taking a test when the suspect came in with a handgun and started shooting aimlessly, “waiving his hand around,” reported ABC affiliate RTV in Indianapolis.The teacher — whom multiple students identified as Jason Seaman — allegedly stopped the shooter, the student told RTV.The family of Ella Whistler, the student injured in the shooting, released a statement Friday night saying her “status is critical” but she’s “stable.”“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,” the statement reads. “But first, we wanted to say she is doing well at Riley Hospital for Children. Her status is critical, yet we are pleased to report she is stable. We’d like to thank everyone across the country who prayed for our family today. We’ve 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.”Seaman was struck three times and underwent surgery, according to a Facebook post by his mother.By Saturday he had been discharged from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and was photographed at Noblesville West Middle School shaking hands with U.S. Rep. Susan W. Brooks.The local politician praised him for his bravery.“Jason Seaman selflessly put himself in harm’s way to protect his students and it is because of his heroic actions more students were not hurt,” she said, according to a release.Seaman’s wife, Colette, provided an initial statement to ABC News from Jason.“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care,” the statement from Jason said. “I want to let everyone know that I was injured but am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”Students were forced to shelter in classrooms and barricade doors during the incident.“I was thinking, ‘It’s not real, it’s not real, everything is going to be OK,’” student Gabbie Manns told ABC News of her time barricaded in the classroom. “We are holding hands holding tight … people I didn’t even know that well came over and held my hand and we all felt really united at that moment.”“There was people crying … it was really chaos,” she added. “I thought about all the other school shootings.”Tanner, an eighth grader, said he was in class when he saw kids running and screaming.“There was only three of us, we had to barricade the door to make sure no one came in,” he told ABC News.“I was shaking for my life,” he said, overcome with emotion. “I just didn’t wanna die.”Kendall, a sixth grader, said she heard an announcement over the intercom, telling students to get in their rooms and barricade the door. She and her classmates got in the corner and the teacher turned off the lights.“I was really scared, I didn’t really know what was going on,” she told ABC News. “My teacher let me use his phone to call my mom.”“I heard gunshots and a few screams,” seventh-grader CJ Livingston, who was in a classroom across from the shooting, told ABC News. “We were all trying to be quiet and there were a lot of people crying around me.”“I was scared, I was in shock. I didn’t really know what to do,” he continued. “I just thought I really needed to protect my peers and my friends and if something happened, I was petrified.”He said they threw chairs at the door as a barricade and then lined up behind the desks to hide.“When I think about how that really must have felt for him I start sobbing,” CJ’s mother, Kristin Huber, told ABC News. “Something you don’t want your children to ever have to experience.” “When you get a text message from your son saying, ‘Mom, there’s an intruder, I just wanted to tell you I love you,’ just thinking about him texting me that is pretty tough,” she said. “It was devastating. I was grateful when he let me know he was OK.”The school has a full-time school resource officer who was in the building at the time, Jowitt said.The school does not have metal detectors, officials said.At the nearby Noblesville East Middle School, “everybody just got so scared” and a lot of people were crying, one sixth-grade girl told RTV.“It’s a surreal feeling,” the girl’s dad added. “You don’t think it’s happening in your own town.”“A secondary threat” was also made at Noblesville High School, Jowitt said.“We have not received any information that this has been anything other than a communicated threat,” Jowitt said. “We are securing the high school and taking steps to make sure that it stays secure.”“All this says to me is insanity has hit Indiana,” one man whose wife’s grandson attends school in the district told RTV.The man, who described the shooting as “chaos,” said the boy texted his mother, “come get me.”Vice President Mike Pence, an Indiana native, said he is “praying for the victims.”“To everyone in the Noblesville community — you are on our hearts and in our prayers,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thanks for the swift response by Hoosier law enforcement and first responders.”Friday morning’s shooting comes one week after a teenage boy allegedly stormed his Texas high school, shooting and killing 10 and wounding 13 others.ABC News’ Alex Perez, Andy Fies, Rachel Katz, Teri Whitcraft, Ryan Burrow, Briana Montalvo and M.L. Nestel contributed to this report.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
When Notre Dame fans converge on New York City this weekend ahead of the Shamrock Series football game against Syracuse, a blue and gold illuminated Empire State Building will greet them Friday evening.How did Notre Dame negotiate this display?Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, asked.“They did this at no cost to Notre Dame, but I guess my best explanation is I asked nicely,” he said.Browne formerly worked as a public information officer at the New York City Police Department, and had seen the Empire State Building lit in various colors to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah. Through his work at the police department, he had crossed paths with Tony Malkin, CEO of Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building.“I wrote Tony a note, reminding him we had crossed paths when I was with the NYPD,” Browne said. “ … And I explained how the Shamrock Series worked — that we would take one of our home games and play it in an interesting place outside of South Bend and that this year we were doing it in New York.”Browne hoped that illuminating the Empire State Building would both celebrate the fact that Notre Dame was visiting New York City, as well as recognize “subway alumni” without any official connection to Notre Dame.“We were kind of honoring the ‘subway alumni’ which is those people, many of them located in New York, many of whom started following Notre Dame when they were immigrants and came into New York,” he said. “We kind of wanted to honor that tradition and thought what better way to do it? New York City is a city of immigrants, Notre Dame is a college that itself was founded by immigrants. … So, Tony eventually agreed. We also agreed to let people know we were doing it.”Overall, the University will seek to honor subway alumni throughout the weekend with various events, according to a University press release published Tuesday. Festivities kicked off Thursday with a prayer service in St. Peter’s Church for Notre Dame community members impacted by the 9/11 attacks. The play “Sorin: A Notre Dame Story” was also presented Thursday. On Friday, members of the Notre Dame community will participate in a service project and host multiple panels. The celebrations will conclude Saturday with a Mass celebrated by University President Fr. John Jenkins at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a marching band concert and the football game.According to the release, the events are free and open to the public, though some require registration in advance.Browne said Notre Dame first began to gain subway alumni during the early 20th century, when Catholic immigrants often faced discrimination.“[Notre Dame] became very prominent in the American imagination,” he said. “It really dates back to the 1920s. And there were two things kind of interesting going on in the 1920s — in Indiana, in the midwest but Indiana specifically, the Ku Klux Klan stronghold was in Indiana. And Notre Dame as a University was viewed very suspiciously and antagonistically.” Because of this, the University had a hard time finding schools willing to play them in football, Browne said.“It was difficult for Knute Rockne, the coach, to get a number of midwestern universities to accept playing football with Notre Dame because they were those ‘Fighting Irish,’ meaning those fighting, brawling, drunken Irish,” he said. “That original term was a slur that Rockne had the brilliance to take over and wear as a badge of honor.”As a result, the football team had to travel the country to play schools across the nation, Browne said.“[Rockne] had to take the Notre Dame team on the road, had to travel to New York to play Army, which would not discriminate, which would play us,” he said. “But in doing that … Notre Dame was the first football team to play nationally. Before that, nobody went through a couple of days on a train to go somewhere. They all played regional. But out of necessity, Rockne brought us to New York.”When the Notre Dame football team arrived in New York, they were greeted by numerous Catholic fans, Browne said.“When [Rockne] gets to New York, New York City is filled with what? Irish Catholic immigrants. Italian Catholic immigrants. Polish Catholic immigrants,” he said. “And Notre Dame to them is an aspirational place. It is a place where Catholics can be admitted to a university, not be discriminated against, like my own mother in Northern Ireland. She couldn’t get into a good university if they looked at her name. … It wasn’t a law that discriminated, but they could tell by her name that she was Catholic.”Browne himself identifies as a subway alumnus. He said his parents long admired Notre Dame as a place where Catholics could get a good education, despite facing discrimination.“My parents didn’t go to college,” Browne said. “They knew nothing about American football, because football to them was soccer. So they didn’t know anything about the sport, they didn’t know anything about American higher education. “All they knew was that Notre Dame was this aspirational place that did not discriminate against immigrants and we were Notre Dame fans for that reason. I, as a little kid, learned the Notre Dame fight song, and I couldn’t have told you where Notre Dame was but I would listen or watch the games with my father.”Similar stories exist across the country, Browne said, and contribute to a large subway alumni population.“Repeat that millions of times in cities specifically on the Northeast — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago,” he said. “This created what became known, because it started in New York, as the subway alumni, people who were not alumna at all, but they identify with Notre Dame because of their immigrant tradition, because they were Catholic and they wanted to root for the team that represented them in a way larger than just football.”Browne said subway alumni’s love for Notre Dame persists today. He recounted the enthusiasm with which policemen greeted Jenkins when he toured the One World Trade Center a few years ago, before it opened. “They were all so proud … they brought him up to the very top of the Freedom Tower, before it opened, before it was finished and had him sign his name on a steel beam on the very top of the Freedom Tower,” Browne said. “It’s now enclosed behind walls, etc., but it was very important to them to have Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame sign the steel at the top of the New World Trade Center. It’s all tied to that history of immigration and pride in ethnicity and religion.”Their excitement stemmed from their love for the University, Browne said.“It meant a lot to those cops because it was the president of Notre Dame,” he said. “The president of any other university? They wouldn’t care, to be honest.”Tags: Empire State Building, subway alumni, Syracuse
Before the Wisconsin men’s basketball team begins its trip to Indianapolis for the Final Four, fans will have the chance to see the Badgers off.The Athletic Department has encouraged fans to line the streets as a team bus takes the team to Dane County Regional Airport, where Wisconsin will then fly to Indianapolis.The bus will travel north on Lake Street, down State Street, around Capital Square and finally down East Washington Avenue to the airport.Before that, there will be a free celebration sendoff at the Kohl Center from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.The Badgers start practicing in Indianapolis on Thursday and Friday before taking on Kentucky Saturday at 7:49 p.m.