Girl shot 7 times in Indiana middle school shooting, family says

Ella Whistler

INDIANAPOLIS — A girl critically wounded in a suburban Indianapolis middle school shooting faces a lengthy recovery after being shot seven times, including in her face, neck and upper chest, her family said Monday.

Thirteen-year-old Ella Whistler also suffered collapsed lungs, significant nerve damage and several broken bones, including in her jaw and back, during the attack at Noblesville West Middle School, according to a statement from her family.

The statement reveals the extent of her injuries for the first time since the May 25 shooting.

Ella’s science teacher, 29-year-old Jason Seaman, was also shot but not critically wounded as he tackled the shooter. He was released from a hospital the following day. A male student has been arrested in the attack.

Ella received “emergency, life-saving surgery” at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis following the shooting, and she is currently in stable condition, her family said.

“She continues to make progress but faces a long road to recovery. She will remain an inpatient at Riley Hospital for the foreseeable future,” the family said.

An online fundraiser has been established to raise money toward her medical expenses. The site had raised more than $89,000 toward a $90,000 goal by Monday evening.

Hamilton County Prosecutor D. Lee Buckingham has not released the name of the suspected shooter, and it’s unclear whether any charges have been filed against the juvenile student.

Authorities have said the boy was armed with two handguns when he entered Seaman’s classroom and began shooting. The school is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Indianapolis.

Indiana law protects the privacy of juveniles accused of crimes and limits what information can be released. Buckingham said authorities cannot confirm the suspect’s identity, age or describe the alleged offense until a charging petition is filed.