The family of a 13-year-old shot by a fellow student at an Indiana middle school says the teen suffered numerous injuries in the shooting and has a long road to recovery ahead of her.
Ella Whistler was shot at Noblesville West Middle School on May 25 by another student before teacher Jason Seaman, who was also shot, tackled the student.
Her family said she was very badly injured in the shooting.
“Ella suffered very serious, life-threatening injuries from being shot seven times in the face, neck, hand and upper chest area,” her family said in a statement Monday.
Ella underwent emergency surgery after being airlifted to the hospital.
“Her injuries include collapsed lungs; a broken jaw, clavicle, multiple neck vertebrae, and ribs; a severed vertebral vein; significant nerve damage; and numerous related injuries,” her family added.
Her family said she’d remain in the hospital for some time and “hopes to eventually return to her favorite activities of volleyball, cheerleading and show choir.”
The suspected shooter, who was armed with two handguns, remains at a juvenile detention center and authorities are reportedly waiting until charges are filed to release more information about the student.
A motive for the attack has not been released. It’s also not clear if Ella was targeted.
Seaman, who may have saved countless lives when he tackled the student, said he did what he had to do.
“I want to make it clear that my actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances," Seaman said during a press conference after the shooting. "I deeply care for my students and their well-being. So that’s why I did what I did that day.”
Ella’s family started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for her medical expenses.