Prosecutor's office: Law gives Noblesville shooter additional protection; cannot confirm shooter's identity

Noblesville Police Chief Kevin Jowitt

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - Police and prosecutors are still saying very little about the alleged Noblesville school shooter.

Senior investigative reporter Bob Segall says the 7th grader is still in custody following a court hearing earlier Tuesday.

A detention hearing for the young suspect took place at the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center to help decide what will happen next in the case. That hearing was in Hamilton Circuit Court and it was closed to the media and the public.

The prosecutor's office says it will not release any more information about the suspect or the case until it decides whether to file formal charges. The prosecutor sent Eyewitness News a statement that said the investigation and ongoing, and due to the suspect's age, there is additional protection on his privacy:

Due to the number of media inquiries, the State provides this release relating to the shooting incident that occurred at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday, May 25th. The investigation into the shooting remains ongoing. Not only are prosecutors bound by the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to making extra-judicial statements, in this situation, juvenile law also creates additional protection for the privacy of children in Indiana and further limits the release of information to the public. Whenever a petition has been filed alleging that a child is delinquent as the result of an alleged act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, only then may very limited information be released pursuant to statute. The State cannot confirm the identity of the suspect, describe the nature of the offense, detail any steps in litigation, and so forth until such a petition has been filed. If filed, a petition would be filed within seven (7) business days of a detention hearing, as required by statute. The fact that a child has been alleged to be delinquent is merely an accusation, and the child is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Given the express constraints of statutes and the rules, no further details will be provided. Should a petition be filed with the court, the State will supplement this release.

The statement says when a case is filed that claims a child committed a criminal act that would be a felony had an adult committed it. Only then can limited information be released to the public.