SIU alum, hailed as a hero, makes grand return to campus - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU alum, hailed as a hero, makes grand return to campus

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WSIL -- Former Saluki defensive lineman Jason Seaman will take on the honorary role as grand marshal for Southern Illinois University's 2018 homecoming parade. It's a way to recognize him for saving dozens of students.

Seaman teaches 7th grade science in Noblesville, Indiana, where he risked his life to stop an active shooter. On May 25, a student excused himself during a test and returned with two hand guns. The student opened fire and wounded classmate Ella Whistler. 

The 30-year-old says he then tackled the shooter to save the other students, "There were kids that needed help and I was there to help them, so that's what I did. Got him under control and told my class to get the heck out of there." 

Seaman was shot a total of three times including in the abdomen, creating an exit wound. He was also shot in the arm and hip, "I still have the one (bullet) in my forearm, I still have the one on my hip,  so those two are going to be with me for the long haul." 

Carly James, who's on the grand marshal selection committee, says the selfless act is one of the reasons he was chosen for the special role, "He was a standout on the field as an athlete and in the classroom.  He kind of embodies what a Saluki is, and once a Saluki, always a Saluki." 

James explains that following the shooting several alums and community members reached out wanting to nominate Seaman for the position, "The grand marshal, we hope, does kind of get people excited about homecoming. Bring people out to the parade, so he’s kind of the perfect choice." 

The celebratory event marks both Seaman's first time at the stadium since he graduated in 2012, and his first time participating in an SIU homecoming parade.

For those who want to show their support for Seaman, the homecoming parade begins at 10 a.m. on October 19 in downtown Carbondale. 

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