A hero has emerged from the chaotic horror that continues to envelope a Florida high school community in the aftermath of Wednesday’s deadly shooting.
Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is among the 17 people killed when cops say a gunman opened fire after pulling the fire alarm Wednesday.
According to a post on the team’s Twitter account, Feis died while shielding students from gunfire.
“It is with great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis. He was our Assistant Football Coach and security guard,” the post reads. “He selflessly shielded students from the shooter when he was shot. He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories.”
A Facebook page matching Feis’ name and location identifies him as having himself attended the school where he was killed. The page says he graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 1999.
In a GoFundMe page created in his name before he succumbed to his injuries, a former member of Feis’ team recalled the coach as selfless mentor.
“Coach Feis is a man of simple means who always puts himself before others,” reads the message from Ben Gajus, who says all funds will go to the shooting victims. “Without him I never would have gotten through the beginning years of high school football. He was a tough coach but he always took the time to teach and to encourage.”
The GoFundMe had raised over $11,000 as of Thursday morning.
Cops say Feis was shot by 19-year-old former Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz.
Cruz, who was reportedly expelled last school year, is believed by police to have arrived Wednesday heavily armed before pulling a fire alarm and opening fire with an AR-15 rifle in the ensuing chaos.
With 17 dead, the shooting ranks among the deadliest in modern U.S. history.