The parents of Noblesville West Middle School shooter David Moore filed paperwork in Hamilton County court this week in response to a civil suit filed by the May 25, 2018, shooting victim Ella Whistler and her parents, Cory and Julia Whistler.
On Nov. 19, 2018, the Whistlers filed a civil tort in Hamilton County Superior Court 1 against Moore’s parents, Kevin and Sarah Moore, citing negligence and liability for the actions of Moore and for damages “they have and will continue to sustain,” according to the lawsuit.
After a judge granted more time for the Moores to respond to the allegations made by the Whistlers in their initial filing of the lawsuit, attorneys for the Moores filed paperwork Jan. 28 in Hamilton County court. All parties are requesting a jury trial, and as of press time, one had not been granted or set.
In the Moores’ response they denied allegations that they knew of their son’s intentions or that he had any mental health issues at the time of the shooting, or that they were “without knowledge or information sufficient to admit or deny” other allegations made by the Whistlers, according to court documents.
In reference to the Whistlers’ allegations of the Moores’ purchasing, owning or storing of the weapons used by or in the possession of David, their response stated that the Whistlers’ allegations “are not described with sufficient specificity,” and that they again are “without knowledge or information sufficient to admit or deny.”
In the Moores’ response, they admitted to some of the more technical allegations made by the Whistlers, like that David was a student at NWMS at the time of the shooting, and that they are the legal guardians of David.
More specifically related to the shooting, the Moores only admitted to the allegation that David knew where the gun safe was located, but denied that he knew where the key was or that it was regularly visibly stored in the same storage closet as the safe.
The Moores also denied in their response that David is “a severely troubled person,” possessing “deep-seated, severe personality disorders.” Allegations that he takes pleasure in violence against others and lacks empathy, and that he was obsessed with violence and had an elevated interest in firearms also were denied in their response.
More directly to the Moores, the Whistlers alleged the following: that (Kevin and Sarah Moore) should have taken reasonable steps to prevent David’s access to their firearms, ammunition, and other weapons, and that they should have taken steps to more closely monitor David’s behavior, including internet and computer use, and taken other steps to prevent David from causing harm to others. The Moores denied all of these allegations in their response.
In November, Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Felix granted wardship for David to the Indiana Dept. of Corrections, where Moore will remain until he turns 18, or until he completes the DOC’s juvenile program.
In November, Felix said David’s psychological evaluation concluded that he had a desire to provoke fear, got pleasure in violating the rights of others, that he has an empathic disorder that makes him enjoy humiliation and that the safety of others would be jeopardized if there was failure to provide residential treatment. During those hearings, Moore’s parents were requesting he be sent to St. Francis Center, a mental health facility in Dyer, Ind.