'A Phenomenal Man': Story Of Heroism From School Coach Comes Amid Nightmare Shooting
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POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – At least 17 people are dead and at least 14 others injured, many of them treated at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach.
On a day the Parkland community witnessed one of the worst mass shootings in Florida history, there is a story of courage and heroism about one man.
This story is unconfirmed by authorities, but it is one that is being shared my many.
A lot of students and parents are talking about one man, a football coach, who according to CBS4 News partner the Miami Herald, was also a security guard at the school.
That coach, identified by students and parents as Aaron Feis, may have acted as a human shield to protect some students.
As Cruz opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, Coach Feis, according to students, jumped in front of the bullets.
One of the fathers whose son is on the football team shared the story with other parents.
"The coach was also shot," the father said. "He got shot by jumping on the guy, that's what I heard."
On Thursday morning, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed Feis was killed and described him as a person who was beloved in the school and community.
"I know Aaron Personally. I coached with him. My two boys played for him. I don't know when Aaron's funeral is, I don't know how many adults are gonna go, but you'll get 2,000 kids there. The kids in this community loved him, they adored him. He was one of the greatest people I knew. He was a phenomenal man," he said. "I don't know the specifics yet, but I can tell you what, when Aaron Feis died — when he was killed tragically, inhumanely — he did it protecting others you can guarantee that, because that's who Aaron Feis was."
According to the doctors, of the 17 shooting victims taken to the hospital, two died.
"Seventeen people were taken to the Broward Health hospitals," said Dr. Evan Boyar, Chair and Medical Director of Broward Health North. "Of those, nine patients, including the suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz, were taken to Broward Health North in Pompano Beach. Seven were taken to Broward General and one to Coral Springs.
Cruz was seen being wheeled out of the hospital before being transported to BSO headquarters.
Doctors say this was the biggest mass casualty shooting they could remember and they were prepared for it.
"We routinely run drills or institution to be ready for instances like this so we have a process in place that gets initiated, so there's calm, collected care that our patients receive," Dr. Boyar said.
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