NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (CBSNewYork) — The Indiana middle school teacher who took a bullet while stopping a school shooting says he had to try to save his students.

Jason Seaman on Monday spoke publically for the first time since the shooting last Friday.

Police say a student opened fire inside Seaman’s classroom at Noblesville West Middle School just outside of Indianapolis.

13-year-old Ella Whistler was shot, as was Seaman as he tackled the gunman and disarmed him.

“My actions that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances,” the former football player said. “I deeply care for my students and their well-being, so that’s why I did what I did that day.”

Seaman says he wants the public to focus on the injured student, who remains hospitalized but is said to be improving as the accused shooter remains in police custody.