Community members react to Noblesville West shooting
Around 9:06 a.m. Friday, the Noblesville Police Department received word there was an active shooter in Noblesville West Middle School.
Two were injured, one is a teacher and one is a juvenile student, said NPD chief Kevin Jowitt in a press conference. Both were transported to area hospitals.
The suspect, who is a male student at the middle school, has been detained.
“There is a male student at Noblesville West Middle School that has been detained and we believe he is the involved suspect,” Jowitt said. “We have no reason to believe that there is any kind of a threat connected to this incident anywhere else.”
Hayley Bowman, a Ball State student studying elementary education, went to Noblesville West Middle School and currently has a cousin in the school district. In an interview with The Daily News, Bowman said she couldn’t believe this happened.
“It just makes me sick to my stomach to know that it could have been my cousin or even, like, family or friends of mine that are in the middle school,” Bowman said. “This is my alum school and nothing like this ever happened to me when I went there, but it just is leaving me sick to my stomach and saddens me.”
Bowman said the school, which has nearly 1,500 sixth through eighth-grade students in it, practices drills for emergency situations at least once a month.
“But I honestly don’t know if you can ever be fully prepared for something like this to happen,” Bowman said.
Assistance from the Indiana State Police, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Fishers Police, Westfield Police, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Jowitt said in the press conference.
After the situation was detained, Noblesville West students were bused to Noblesville High School. It was then that Jacob Zeh, a junior at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics and Humanities, heard from his brother, a seventh-grader at Noblesville West.
"My parents were first contacted by the school and they each called and texted my brother to see if he was all right," Zeh said. "My brother didn’t answer because they told them to keep quiet, but texted them that he was safe and that he loved us."
Zeh said his parents were worried until they picked up his brother, but he was thankful that he heard from him during the event.
"I'm shocked because I never expected it to happen here in my home town and effect so many of my friends and my family directly," Zeh said. "I’m so thankful that more were not injured or killed. I’m proud of the bravery of all the people involved. It’s such a tragic event and I hope for a swift recovery for those injured and for all the kids who were impacted and scared.”
Parents flooded the school wanting to pick up their children, though Noblesville superintendent Beth Niedermeyer said the school will have regular dismissal for those who can’t pick up their students due to work or other conflicts.
“I want to thank everyone for being here and for all of the thoughts and prayers. Our hearts go out to everyone that’s been involved in this horrific tragedy,” Niedermeyer said during the press conference. “We’re so grateful that everyone was so quick to respond and help us through this tragedy.”
Niedermeyer and Jowitt assured the community of the efforts taking place to keep students safe throughout the rest of the school day, and Jowitt said there is no ongoing threat to the schools.
“Their children are safe and we’ll continue the day as planned,” Niedermeyer said. “Thank you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. ”
As the investigation continues, community leaders and members continue to express their feelings:
This story will be updated.
Brooke Kemp and Pauleina Brunnemer contributed to this story.