Noblesville school shooter's parents respond to lawsuit filed by Ella Whistler's parents

Cory Whistler, Ella's father, testifies at the Statehouse on behalf of a bill that would allow kids as young as 12 to be waived to adult court. (Photo: Victoria Ratliff/

HAMILTON COUNTY (WTHR) – The parents of the Noblesville West Middle School shooter have filed their response to a lawsuit made against them early last month.

Ella Whistler and her parents filed a lawsuit against the school shooter's parents after Ella was shot multiple times in a classroom.

The lawsuit claims her injuries included fractured vertebrae; a severed vertebral vein; collapsed lungs; broken jaw, clavicle and ribs; likely permanent nerve damage; scarring and numerous related injuries.

The lawsuit filed by Ella Whistler's parents also claims that she will likely need future surgeries and continues to suffer emotional and physical trauma.

In a response filed by the parents of the school shooter January 28, they deny they were negligent and that they should have foreseen the consequences.

The shooter’s parents say they are not personally responsible for the Whistler’s damages and that their son and Noblesville Schools may both bear some responsibility.

They also say that if the court orders them to pay any damages, that it should be offset by the amount the Whistlers have already received from other places, like insurance and donations.

The lawsuit filed by the Whistlers claims the shooter's parents should have known their son had an obsession with firearms and violence and "took pleasure in violence in others and lacked empathy."

The lawsuit goes on to claim the parents should have prevented their son from having access to guns, ammunition and other weapons and monitored his internet use.

The Whistler family seeks damages in an amount that "will fairly compensate them for the losses and damages they have and will continue to sustain as a result of Defendants' negligence, and all other just and proper relief."

The shooter was sentenced to stay in a juvenile detention facility until his 18th birthday or until the Department of Correction considers him rehabilitated. When he is released, he will immediately be placed on probation and the judge did not put an end date on that probation.

The shooter's parents have requested a trial by jury, which has been granted by the judge.

The case is still pending in Hamilton County Superior Court. So far, a date for the trial has not been set.