June 8, 2023

Indiana middle school shooter who wounded teacher, student in 2018 will remain in custody

WTIU file photo

WTIU file photo

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday ordered a former student who opened fire at an Indiana middle school in 2018, wounding another student and a teacher, to remain in custody until an investigation of a separate assault allegation against the teenager is completed.

Madison County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Koester cited the youth’s “lack of remorse and empathy shown throughout the case,” and his “flippant attitude” about a corrections employee's allegation that the boy “fist-bumped” her breasts twice, as his reasons for keeping the teen detained.

The former student, who was 13 at the time of the shooting, had been detained since shortly after he opened fire at Noblesville West Middle School in May 2018. He shot a seventh-grade science teacher and another 13-year-old student. The teacher, Jason Seaman, cut the shooting short when he tackled the shooter and pinned him to the ground.

Seaman was shot three times, and the student, Ella Whistler, was shot seven times. No one was killed.

Following his 18th birthday, the shooter was due to be released on home detention with GPS monitoring until he turned 21, according to his attorney, Ben Jaffe. A psychological evaluation had found that the teen posed a low-to-moderate risk for violence.

But in April, authorities reported that a corrections officer at the Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility said the boy “fist-bumped” her breasts. Madison County’s prosecutor is weighing whether the teen will face assault charges for that alleged incident.

“Based on the totality of the circumstances in this case, the Court cannot say that it is in the best interest of the safety and security of the community for the Youth to be released pending the outcome of this new matter,” Koester wrote in his ruling.

The teen will be transferred from the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center in Noblesville to the Madison County Youth Center Secure Detention Unit in Anderson, The Indianapolis Star reported.

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