A security guard and assistant football coach who shielded a student from oncoming gunfire was among the 17 people fatally shot by a former student who opened fire at a Florida high school Wednesday.
Aaron Feis died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the football team announced on Twitter early Thursday morning.
“It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the post reads. “He was our Assistant Football Coach and security guard. 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.”
Echoing what others had said Wednesday on social media, football coach Willis May told the Orlando Sentinel that he had heard Feis had put his life in danger when he shielded a female student from the shooter and pushed her out of the way.
As one of the security staff, Feis responded to the initial call on the school’s security radio walkie-talkies, May said. When someone asked on the radio if the sounds booming through the hallways were firecrackers, “I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers,” said May, who was also listening to the security radio.
“That’s the last I heard of him,” May said.
May spoke glowingly of Feis to the Sentinel.
“Big ol’ teddy bear,” May said. “Hardcore — he coached hard. Real good line. He did a great job with the [offensive] line. He took pride with working with those guys. Loyalty — I trusted him. He had my back. He worked hard. Just a good man. Loved his family. Loved his brother — just an excellent family man.”
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, KC Baker