Noblesville West Middle School shooter’s parents sued by survivor’s parents

Jason Seaman (left) and Ella Whistler (right)

NOBLESVILLE, Ind.– Ella Whistler, the Noblesville West Middle School student injured in a school shooting in May, and her parents have filed a civil lawsuit against the parents of the shooter.

The lawsuit was filed on Nov. 19 in Hamilton County. The Whistlers say the shooter’s parents failed their duty to “exercise reasonable and ordinary care in the storage and safekeeping of their handguns, ammunition and other weapons dangerous to the health and safety of others.”

The lawsuit alleges if not for that negligence, Ella would not have suffered life-altering injuries and expenses.

The 13-year-old boy admitted to the shooting and was ordered by a judge last month to serve time in a juvenile detention center until he’s 18 years old. That is the most severe punishment he could receive.

Whistler survived after being shot seven times. Teacher Jason Seaman was shot three times. He testified that the teen returned to his classroom from a bathroom break and started shooting. Seaman said he threw a mini basketball at the boy as he fired shots, and then tackled the youth and disarmed him.

Court testimony revealed the teen recorded a video in his basement, hours before the shooting, warning of his plans to “take lives,” including his own. In the video, he was flashing several handguns. The suspect’s mother testified that her son had found the keys to a gun safe in their home.

“The handguns and ammunition were stored in a gun safe located in the closet in the basement of (the shooter’s parents). The storage closet was adjacent to the room in which (the shooter) played video games. (The shooter) knew the location of the gun safe. (The shooter) knew precisely where the key to the gun safe was located,” the lawsuit states.

The Whistlers are demanding a jury trial and “respectfully request judgement in an amount that will fairly compensate them for the losses and damages they have and will continue to sustain” as a result of the shooter’s actions.