HS football coach, father, hailed as hero after he dies shielding Florida students from gunfire

Tragedies like the Parkland, Florida high school show the worst in humanity, but also demonstrate its best.

The first of the 17 slain victims of Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was Aaron Feis, the JV football coach and security guard who shielded students from the attacker with his own body.

Feis, 37, was survived by his wife and daughter, Fox News reported. His family was notified of his passing at midnight Wednesday.

The high school’s football team issued a statement about Feis’ death on Twitter Thursday.

A person on the scene at the time of the shooting described the slain coach as jumping “in front of bullets to save some students’ lives.”

According to Fox News, Feis, who doubled as a security guard for the school, responded to a walkie-talkie call about loud pops in campus.

“I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,” head football coach Willis May told the Sun Sentinel.

Aaron Feis and his daughter. (Photo: Facebook).

Students at the school spoke highly of Feis.

“He was a great guy,” sophomore Gage Gaynor said to the Sun Sentinel. “Everyone loved him. Shame he had to go like this. Always gave his all to making us better. Definitely learned a lot from him.”

Feis himself graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School in 1999. Shortly after, he was hired to do security for the school, and became the JV football coach in 2002.

Other victims of the shooting to be identified were 17-year-old student Jaime Guttenberg, geography teacher Scott Beigel, and athletics director Chris Hixon, Daily Mail reported.

Guttenberg, Hixon, Beigel, and Feis were among 17  killed and 15 injured by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student at the school who war armed with an AR-15-style rifle, a gas mask, and smoke bombs, WGNTV reported.

Feis was heralded as a hero around the country.

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