A female student was in critical but stable condition early Saturday after being wounded during a shooting at an Indiana middle school on Friday, a family statement said.
The 13-year-old was identified as Ella Whistler in a statement released by her parents Friday night, FOX59 Indianapolis reported.
“Her status is critical, yet we are pleased to report she is stable,” the statement read.
The family asked for privacy as their daughter recovers at Riley Hospital for Children and thanked all first responders.
The full statement reads:
“Our daughter, Ella Whistler, was involved in a horrific shooting today at her school. We will spend the next days and weeks processing what happened and why. But first, we wanted to say she is doing well at Riley Hospital for Children. Her status is critical, yet we are pleased to report she is stable. We’d like to thank everyone across the country who prayed for our family today. We’ve felt those prayers and appreciate each of them. We’d also like to thank the first responders, Noblesville police, Indiana State Police and the medical staff and surgeons at Riley. Please do not contact our family for further comment at this time. We appreciate you respecting our privacy as we support Ella in her recovery.”
Ella was airlifted to the hospital after a male student allegedly shot her at Noblesville West Middle School, Noblesville police Lt. Bruce Barnes said in a news release Friday night.
The teen underwent surgery after being shot in the chest, a family friend told the Indianapolis Star.
"She's a stellar student,” the friend said. “She's highly involved in school. A beautiful girl. I can only imagine why this happened."
Friends of the girl described her to the Indianapolis Star as "popular" and "really friendly." They said her outgoing personality was felt throughout their choir class.
Apart from being an active member of the middle school’s choir, she has a social media presence that shows her happily posing with friends and family and singing to popular music, the paper reported.
"I try to be around her every single day because she lightens my day. I don't know how I'd survive without this shining star."
"I try to be around her every single day because she lightens my day," said Lynn Partlow, another school friend. "I don't know how I'd survive without this shining star."
A second victim, science teacher Jason Seaman, suffered multiple gunshot wounds after he confronted the suspect and knocked the weapon from his hand. Seaman underwent surgery and was in good condition Friday night, police said.
The suspected shooter showed no apparent injuries, police said. He hasn’t been identified.
Noblesville, located about 20 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is home to about 50,000 people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.