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These Are Some of the Heroes of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Shooting
Seventeen people, including students and teachers, died after a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, February 14. Even amidst the horror, brave teachers and students alike sacrificed their own safety — and in some cases, their lives — to protect their colleagues and classmates. Here are some of their heroic stories.
Anthony Borges, a 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, was shot five times during the massacre. But he’s credited with saving the lives of at least 20 other students.
He was shot in both legs and his back while trying to close and lock a classroom door. Borges's friend Carlos Rodriguez toldGood Morning Americathat the two rushed to hide in a nearby classroom when they first heard gunshots. He says no one knew what to do, but that Borges "took the initiative to just save his other classmates."
A GoFundMe page set up to help his family has raised more than 0,000. Borges is recovering in the hospital.
The Stoneman Douglas teacher, 34, hid 65 people during the attack, according to The Daily Beast. At first, she told the site, she thought there was a fire drill going on, so she started to close her door as part of the procedure. “And as I was shutting my door, I had two very large senior boys coming at me like white faced, screaming, ‘There’s a shooter! There’s a shooter!’” she said. “I grabbed them and brought them in. […]I just started grabbing as many kids as I could. I grabbed two of my fellow colleagues and the kids that were with them.”
The Stoneman Douglas algebra teacher had all the right instincts. According to theSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel, she made her students get on the floor in the corner of the room, and put up paper on the door so nobody could see inside. When the SWAT team arrived and asked her to open up, she refused to open the door in case it was a trick; an officer ended up taking out the window in the classroom to get people out. “She was quick on her feet. She used her knowledge. She saved a lot of kids,” parent Dawn Jarboe told the newspaper.
The teacher told CNN that she managed to hide 19 kids during the shooting. At first, she hustled students into her classroom, then decided to move everyone into the closet; students were either silent or sobbing as they waited for 30 minutes for SWAT officers to arrive.
“This is the worst nightmare that could ever happen to you,” she told Anderson Cooper. "You try to do the best you can for the kids you are supposed to keep safe.”
Student Peter Wang, 15, was a member of the school's Junior ROTC program, and was to be promoted to cadet the week after the shooting. He took his ROTC duties seriously and was even wearing his uniform on the day he was killed. According to theMiami Herald, Wang was shot multiple times as he held the door so his classmates could escape the gunfire. TheSouth Florida Sun-Sentinelreported February 20 that the U.S. Military Accademy at West Point, where Wang dreamed of going to college, has posthumously admitted him to the Class of 2025. Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered the state's National Guard to honor him and two other members of the JROTC at their funerals, and a petition has made the rounds pushing for him to be buried with full military honors.
The 17-year-old student, who is a member of the Junior ROTC, ushered 60 to 70 people in an open JROTC training room, CNN reports. He then noticed there were Kevlar sheets in the room, usually used for marksmanship training, and used them to shield people in the room. "We took those sheets, and we put them in front of everybody so they weren't seen, because they were behind a solid object and the Kevlar would slow the bullet down," he told the network. Luckily, the shooter did not enter their room, but they may have had crucial protection if he did.
One of the 17 victims in Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was a coach who heroically shielded students from bullets. Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at the school, was himself an alumnus of the school.
According to theSouth Florida Sun-Sentinel,Feis, 37, responded to the call on the school's security radio walkie-talkies. Someone on the line asked if the sound they were hearing was firecrackers. "I heard Aaron say, 'No, that is not firecrackers.' That's the last I heard of him," football coach William May, who also had a walkie-talkie, told the newspaper. He said he heard from a student that Feis jumped between that student and the shooter, and pushed her through a door to get her out of the line of fire.
“He died a hero,” the football team wrote on Twitter.
Geography teacher and cross-country coach Scott Beigel, 35, helped students enter a locked classroom to avoid the gunman, and paid for the brave act with his life.
"If the shooter would have come into the room, I probably wouldn't be speaking to you now," student Kelsey Friend toldGood Morning America.
Beigel "unlocked the door and let us in," she said. "I thought he was behind me, but he wasn't. When he opened the door he had to relock it so we could stay safe, but he didn't get a chance to."
Student Bruna Oliveda said she saw Beigel blocking the door. "I don't know how we're alive," she said.
An Unnamed Janitor
A school custodian, who has remained unnamed, reportedly told a group of students to get away from where the shooter was, saving their lives. "After I started running with the people, I realized that wasn't the best choice because there was a janitor that, thank God, stopped me and all of my fellow students from going in that direction, towards the shooter," student David Hogg told ABC 13.
He said that his classmates turned around and ran back, and a teacher opened her classroom door. "Without her, who knows how many of us would have died, 'cause we were easily 100 feet away from the freshman building, and again, we thought this was a drill,” he said.
Incredible story by Officer Michael Leonard, who was the one who located the Florida Shooter & arrested him
President Trump with his trademark wit remarked, "That was so modest, I would have told it much differently. I would have said without me they would have never found him." pic.twitter.com/WYZInLdPjz
According to CNN, Coconut Creek police office Michael Leonard arrived at the school to support his fellow officers, and ended up going around the neighborhood in search of the shooter. He was the one who ultimately found and arrested Nikolas Cruz after noticing his clothes matched radio descriptions. "He looked like a typical high school student and for a quick moment I thought 'Could this be the person? Is this who I need to stop?," Leonard said, according to the network.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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