Presented with the most dangerous decision of his life, Jason Seaman didn’t see it as a decision at all ― just something that had to be done.
“I deeply care for my students and their wellbeing,” the 7th-grade science teacher said at a Monday morning press conference. “So that is why I did what I did.”
“My actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances,” he added.
Last Friday, a teenager armed with two handguns entered Seaman’s classroom at Noblesville West Middle School in Noblesville, Indiana, and opened fire. The 29-year-old football coach and former college defensive lineman reacted almost immediately, running at the teen and tackling him to the ground as he told students to dial 911.
One bullet passed through Seaman’s abdomen. He took another to his hip and still another to his forearm, according to Facebook comments from his mom, Kristi.
“I can’t say enough how proud of Ella I am and how we all should be,” Seaman said Monday. “Her courage and strength at such a young age is nothing short of remarkable, and we should all continue to keep her in our minds as she continues to recover.”
Authorities have credited Seaman’s actions for quickly ending a situation that could have become far worse. But on Monday he sought to refocus that praise elsewhere, calling himself “a person who isn’t looking for attention.”
In addition to Ella, Seaman highlighted the actions of an “unbelievably brave” school resource officer who quickly reached the classroom and helped Ella as she fought for her life.
Seaman also offered thanks to a Noblesville High School student who set up a charity page online to help pay his medical bills.
“I can’t really fathom how someone I have not personally met would do such an act of kindness,” he said, “and how the Noblesville community has been so generous in its response to it.”