In the wake of the horrific school shooting that took place yesterday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and claimed the lives of 17 people, stories of heroism are surfacing. Among them is Aaron Feis, the school’s assistant football coach and a father, who died after he threw himself in front of the shooter to protect students.
Per the school’s athletic website, Feis graduated Marjory Stoneman Douglas in 1999 and began coaching in 2002. He coached the varsity and junior varsity teams. He also served as one of the school’s security guards.
According to the New York Daily News, Stoneman Douglas head football coach Willis May said that a school security guard said he heard firecrackers going off in the hallways and immediately got on his walkie-talkie with Feis to confirm. Feis responded ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That was the last May had ever heard from him.
It was later revealed later that Feis was shot several times after he put himself between a female student and the gunman before pushing her out of the door to safety. Feis was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition but died from his injuries.
Speaking to the Sun-Sentinal, May said of Feis,“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.”
May’s wife Melissa noted that she “wasn’t shocked at all” that Feis sacrificed himself protecting students at the school. She called her husband a “friend to all students that know him.” In addition to his wife, Feis leaves behind a young daughter.