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.

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

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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.”

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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.