(Meredith) – A football coach died a hero after shielding students from a gunman who opened fire inside a Florida high school, officials said.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team confirmed on Twitter that Aaron Feis was among the 17 people shot and killed Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness that our football family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the tweet read. “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.”
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. 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 pic.twitter.com/O181FvuHl3
— MS Douglas Football (@MSDEagles) February 15, 2018
Douglas football coach Willis May told the Sun Sentinel he heard directly from a student that Feis jumped between her and the shooter, pushing her out of the line of fire.
May described Feis as a “big ol’ teddy bear” who took pride in his role as a coach.
Current and former football players hailed Feis as a hero on Twitter and thanked him for his selfless sacrifice.
“The Stoneman Douglas Community has lost the most loving and caring man in this universe,” wrote varsity player, Tyler Goodman. “I love this man with all my heart. I love you coach you’ll always be my main man.”
The Stoneman Douglas Community has lost the most loving & caring man in this universe. I love this man with all my heart. I love you coach you’ll always be my main man?? #RIPFies
— Tyler Goodman III™ (@tgiii_) February 15, 2018
Feis graduated from the school in 1999 and became a coach for the junior varsity football team in 2002, according to a bio posted to the school’s website. He leaves behind a wife and young daughter.
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