The teacher who subdued a suspected gunman during a shooting Friday at a middle school in Noblesville, Ind., is a former Southern Illinois University football player and Mahomet, Ill., native.
Jason Seaman, 29, played defensive end for the Salukis from 2007 to 2010 and graduated with a degree in elementary education. Seaman played 47 games as a Saluki and racked up 88 tackles, eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss.
At Mahomet-Seymour High School, Seaman was an All-Area and Illinois High School Football Coaches Association All-State pick and two-time all-conference honoree.
Seaman released a statement through Indianapolis’ WTHR employee Jim Johnston on Twitter.
“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. 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,” the statement read.
SIU’s current head football coach, Nick Hill, played one season with Seaman.
“He was a great teammate, one of the team’s hardest workers,” Hill said in a Saluki Athletics press release. “You could always trust him to do the right thing.”
The Salukis made three playoff appearances and won two conference championships during Seaman’s career. Seaman’s position coach, Austin Flyger now serves as SIU’s defensive line and special teams coach.
“Jason was one of those guys who was willing to go above and beyond and do whatever he could for the team,” Flyger said. “The reason you get into coaching is to work with guys like him.”
Seaman is a science teacher and football coach at Noblesville West Middle School, according to IndyStar.com.
Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebreaker told The Associated Press that when the alleged gunman, also a student at the school, entered the classroom and opened fire, “Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground. If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”
Seaman’s mother, Kristi, posted on Facebook on Friday afternoon that her son was shot three times while intervening with the shooting; in the abdomen, hip and forearm but was “doing well” after surgery.
At least one student also was injured during the shooting. The suspect has been taken into custody, police said.
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