Football Coach Shielded Students During Florida Shooting

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A football coach at the Florida high school where a former student went on a shooting rampage that killed at least 17 people is being called a hero after he shielded students from the gunfire.

According to a social media post made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football team, assistant coach Aaron Feis died while attempting to save students from the gunman, the Daily Mail reported.

"It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis," the team wrote on Twitter. "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."

Several other users commended the coach's bravery, while condemning the actions of the gunman, later identified as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

"His name is Aaron Feis. Coaches are always protectors. Today he sacrificed his body for his students. Some heroes wear Gatorade towels over their shoulders," wrote one user, according to the Daily Mail.

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"Rather than talk about the coward shooter, meet Aaron Feis, football coach & security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS," wrote another. "He stepped in front of many students to protect them from bullets. #hero #Parkland."

Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said the school will be closed for the remainder of the week, CNN reported. Counseling will be provided to students and their families.

"This has been a day where we've seen the worst of humanity," Runcie said. "Tomorrow is gonna bring out the best in humanity as we come together to move forward from this unspeakable tragedy."

Runcie said Cruz had been expelled for unspecified disciplinary reasons. The suspect will appear in court on Feb. 15.

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The identities of all 17 victims have not yet been released. They were transported to a total of three different local hospitals, Local 10 News reported.

Teacher Melissa Falkowski said the school has had recent active shooter training.

"We could not have been more prepared for this situation, which is what makes it so frustrating," Falkowski told CNN. "We did everything that we were supposed to do. Broward County Schools has prepared us for this situation and still to have so many casualties, at least for me, it's very emotional. Because I feel today like our government, our country has failed us and failed our kids and didn't keep us safe."

President Donald Trump took to Twitter later that evening to respond to the school shooting.

"My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting," Trump tweeted. "No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior," the president added on Feb. 15. "Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"

Sources: Daily Mail, CNN, Local 10 News, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2) / Featured Image: Daniel X. O'Neil/Flickr / Embedded Images: Facebook via Daily Mail, Daily Mail

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