Martinsville student shot in 2011 takes school district to court

Chance Jackson

A survivor of a school shooting in Martinsville is taking his case to court.

Wednesday afternoon, the Indiana Court of Appeals will hear the argument of Chance Jackson. He has filed a complaint against the Martinsville School District for the March 2011 shooting.

Jackson was shot twice by fellow student Michael Phelps at West Middle School.

Today the court will primarily consider whether the school did its part to keep Jackson safe.

Chance Jackson was shot in March 2011 by another student, Michael Phelps. Phelps was convicted and will serve at least 12 more years in prison. He was suspended pending expulsion when the shooting happened.

The shooting occurred inside Door Number 2 of Martinsville West Middle School. That door is now locked as part of the school's security plan.

Last year, WTHR spoke to Chance Jackson and his family about the incident, which did not come without warning.

Michael Phelps posted on his Facebook page, "Today is the Day."

A full 40 minutes before the bell at West Middle that morning, Phelps sent multiple texts to a female classmate: "Did Chance say anything about him not being at school today? I hope he shows up at school, cause I'm going to do something I told you I wasn't. You will see when you get to school, sorry."

Chance says she came with a warning, "Michael is here to kick your (expletive)."

Chance texted his mother.

"She said, "Go to the office,' and I said, 'I am not going to the office, I'm not a snitch and it's just going to get worse if I tell'," Jackson said.

To this day, his mother Becky regrets not rushing to the school.

"Why didn't I just get up and say, 'Oh my God, something is wrong' and go?" Becky asks.

The confrontation went down right inside a side entrance - Door Number 2. It's close to the cafeteria where many students get breakfast at school. Chance remembers Phelps' verbal attacks first.

"Michael said, 'I heard you have been talking (expletive) about me.' I said, 'No, I've been trying to avoid you and stay away from you, because it's nothing but trouble," Jackson recalled. "He said, 'Not what I heard' and I said, 'Well, you heard wrong.'"

Brandon says he saw the gun.

"I remember standing there and next thing you know, Chance against the wall, sliding down the wall with blood on him. I got hit on my wrist, right here, the shell casings actually hit me and skid down my arm," he said.