Football coach 'died a hero' protecting students from gunman

 abc.net.au  2/15/2018 5:27:12 AM 

Updated February 15, 2018 20:21:26

A Florida high school football coach "died a hero" after being shot while shielding students from gunfire in a deadly attack that killed 17 people.

Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland on Valentine's Day (local time), about 72 kilometres north of Miami.

Reports emerged on Twitter that the school's varsity football assistant coach Aaron Feis had stepped in to cover students and was himself shot.

The school's football team later tweeted that Mr Feis had been shot as he "selflessly shielded students from the shooter".

"He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories," the MS Douglas Football department tweeted.

One of the Douglas players, Charlie Rothkopf, tweeted that Mr Feis had provided cover for other students.

"Can everyone please take a second to pray for my coach today he took serval [sic] bullets covering other students at Douglas," Mr Rothkopf wrote.

Mr Feis also worked in security as a campus monitor, according to the school's website.

A former student at the school, Angelica Losada, wrote on Instagram that Mr Feis was a, "friend to all students that know him".

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel announced the community had, "lost a football coach from Stoneman at this high school", but did not release a name.

Topics: crime, police, law-crime-and-justice, schools, united-states

First posted February 15, 2018 16:27:12

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