The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office says it will not immediately release any details about the suspect in Friday’s school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School.
Noblesville Police say a male student brought guns into a classroom Friday morning, injuring student Ella Whistler and teacher Jason Seaman. The suspect was quickly taken into custody.
In a statement Tuesday, the Prosecutor’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and they are bound by law to protect the privacy of children.
Indiana law specifies juveniles should be treated differently than adults who are accused of committing a crime. While information about adult cases is available to the public as soon as charges are filed, that’s not the case for juveniles.
It’s only in certain situations that the juvenile’s name, age, and nature of the offense becomes public. That’s stipulated in state law.
“It would allow the court to share information when the child has been alleged to commit an act that would be murder or a felony,” says Attorney Joel Wieneke, who is part of the state’s Juvenile Defense Project. “And, that would probably be what we are looking at here.”
Wieneke says that information won’t be available until after prosecutors file a petition in the Noblesville case. Even after that, he says some information may still be shielded from the public.
“If there’s motions or information dealing with psychological evaluations or things that might show up that show the child was the victim of abuse or neglect, that information would still be excluded from the public,” he says.
It’s not clear when a petition will be filed or when the juvenile could appear in court.