Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football coach Aaron Feis was one of the 17 victims in the deadly school shooting and sacrificed himself to save students. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Aaron Feis was an assistant football coach who died shielding Marjory Stoneman Douglas students from the gunman. Fellow Douglas football coach Willis May said he heard from a student that Aaron “jumped between her and the shooter [Nikolas Cruz], to push her out through a door and out of the line of fire” on Feb. 14, according to the Sun Sentinel. Nikolas opened fire on students and staff inside the high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 dead and 15 injured. “It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” the Douglas football team’s Twitter account posted Feb. 15. “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.”
2. He was reportedly taken to the hospital after shooting, but did not survive. One of Aaron’s football players, Charlie Rothkopf, tweeted: “Can everyone please take a second to pray for my coach today he took serval [sic] bullets covering other students at Douglas.” Instagram user Angelica Losada wrote Aaron was in “critical condition” in the hours after the shooting. Broward County sheriff Scott Israel confirmed a football coach died in the shooting rampage, and Aaron was later identified as the victim.
3. Aaron was also a security guard at the high school. Aaron responded to the original call on the school’s walkies-talkies. Someone asked on the radio whether or not the sounds heard in the school were firecrackers, according to Willis. “I heard Aaron say, ‘No, that is not firecrackers.’ That’s the last I heard of him,” Willis told the Sun Sentinel. Nikolas reportedly pulled the fire alarm in the school to maximize casualties and attempted to blend in with other students.
4. Aaron was a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alum and returned to work there in 2002. Aaron played center for the high school from 1995 to 1998. He graduated from Douglas in 1999. Aaron coached linemen for the Douglas football team. He served as the school’s JV football coach for 8 years, according to his bio on the football team’s website. Aaron was also the team’s college recruiting coordinator and helped in football operations.
5. He is survived by his wife, Melissa, and baby daughter, Arielle. The family was notified of Aaron’s tragic passing around midnight on Feb. 14 or early in the morning of Feb. 15. Willis gushed that Aaron was a “big ol’ teddy bear.” Willis continued: “He worked hard. Just a good man. Loved his family. Loved his brother – just an excellent family man.”
It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis. 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 pic.twitter.com/O181FvuHl3
— MS Douglas Football (@MSDEagles) February 15, 2018
Can everyone please take a second to pray for my coach today he took serval bullets covering other students at Douglas . pic.twitter.com/8AMG7t6tpH
— Charlie Rothkopf (@RothkopfCharlie) February 14, 2018
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