Football Coach 'Died a Hero' in Stoneman Douglas Shooting

Aaron Feis was an assistant coach and security officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He reportedly died shielding students from gunfire.
February 15, 2018, 2:40pm
Photo via Twitter/@MSDEagles

Aaron Feis graduated from Parkland, Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 1999. In 2002, he began coaching football at the school. He was head coach of the junior varsity team for eight years, and later became an offensive line coach with the varsity team under head coach Willis May. Feis is among the 17 people who were killed at Stoneman Douglas Wednesday by expelled student Nikolas Cruz in yet another mass shooting in an American school.

Reports from students inside the building yesterday hinted at a football coach who was reportedly seen shielding students from gunfire, but it was unclear if he survived. Thursday morning, May confirmed to the Sun-Sentinel that the Feis family was informed Aaron did not survive the shooting, and the football team's Twitter account announced it as well.

Feis reportedly took his responsibilities as school security guard very seriously—a former student described him as being "very well dedicated to the safety of the school during the daytime"—and understood what was happening the moment Cruz opened fire.

Feis, in his capacity as a school security guard, responded to the original call on the school’s security radio walkie-talkies. Someone asked on the radio if the loud sounds heard were firecrackers, according to May, who also carries a radio.

“I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,” May said.

May also said that he heard directly from one student who said Feis jumped between her and Cruz, and pushed her out of door to safety.

Fourteen others were injured in the shooting, which is now the 19th school shooting and 30th mass shooting so far this year.

Cruz was arrested not far from the school, and early Thursday morning he was booked into Broward County's main facility in Fort Lauderdale. He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and is expected to appear in court later this afternoon.