Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football coach Aaron Feis is being heralded as a hero in the aftermath of a tragic Florida school shooting Wednesday after reports that he jumped in front of students to protect them from the shooter.
The shooting, which the Broward County Sheriff's Office says claimed the life of 17 people, was committed by 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, who gunned down students as they vacated their classrooms at the sound of the fire alarm.
As the horrifying chain of events occurred, Feis, who also served as a security guard for the school, protected students with his body, reports the Miami Herald, which notes that these accounts have not been confirmed by authorities.
Feis was initially said to be dead on social media, bringing forth an outpouring of support. However, subsequent posts said he was wounded, but had survived the shooting.
“Coach Feis has not passed. He was shot, but is not dead,” Jordan May, a coach at the school and the son of head football coach Willis “Peanut” May, said on Twitter, reports the Herald.
Feis has worked as a security guard at the school for at least eight years, the publication noted, and is known for taking his role as a protector very seriously.
“He’s very well dedicated to the safety of the school during the daytime,” former student Andrew Hofmann told the Herald.
Hofmann described the coach as “a quiet person” with a good sense of humor. “When there’s a funny joke he is always laughing for sure,” he said.
Feis graduated from Douglas High in 1999 and has worked at the school for his entire coaching career, according to the school’s website.
Photo credit: MSD Football