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Hundreds Gather For Noblesville Prayer Vigil After School Shooting

Noblesville students embrace for a community prayer during the vigil. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Noblesville students embrace for a community prayer during the vigil. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Hundreds of people gathered in Noblesville Saturday night for a prayer vigil, one day after a shooting at an area middle school that injured two.

Police say a male student at Noblesville West Middle School fired several shots in a seventh grade classroom Friday morning. The unidentified student is in police custody.

Noblesville residents tearfully prayed for the community and for the two people injured in the shooting. Ella Whistler, 13, is in critical but stable condition at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

Seventh grade teacher Jason Seaman was shot three times as he reportedly tackled the alleged shooter. Seaman was treated at Methodist Hospital and later released.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-Ind.) says Seaman is an “overnight hero.”

“To know that Jason put himself before other is not surprising – to anyone I’ve found – that knows him,” Holcomb says. “I am so proud Jason is a Hoosier.”

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The crowd was asked for thoughtful reflection on Friday’s shooting. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The vigil itself was a community effort, thrown together in a few hours. Noblesville Schools Superintendent Beth Niedermeyer says the size of the crowd speaks volumes about the community.

“This is the day that we begin to heal,” Niedermeyer says.

U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined community leaders at the vigil with Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Carmel).

Faith leaders led the crowd in prayer for students and teachers throughout the district.

All schools except West Middle will return to school on Tuesday. Students will have access to counselors at the high school on Monday.

Becca Costello contributed to this story.

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