Aaron Feis reportedly said during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting: 'No, that is not firecrackers.'
A football coach has died after shielding a student from gun shots at the deadly Florida high school shooting that has killed at least 17.
Aaron Feis, an assistant football coach at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, reportedly leapt in front of a student to protect her from Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old shooter.
Douglas High's football team confirmed the death in a Thursday morning tweet, adding: "He died a hero and he will forever be in our hearts and memories."
Feis jumped between a student and the shooter to push her out through a door and out of harm's way, according to fellow coach Willis May, who was cited by Florida newspaper the Sun Sentinel.
On top of coaching football, Feis also worked as a security guard at Douglas High, according to its website.
He heard of the shooting on the school's walkie talkie system, May said.
"I heard Aaron say, 'No, that is not firecrackers,'" said May, who also has a walkie talkie. "That's the last I heard of him."
This, ladies and gentlemen, if the face of a hero. Coach Aaron Feis was injured protecting a student in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and, at last report, is in critical condition. He is a friend to all students that know him. He was always so nice to me when I went to school there, and I know he is close with my brother and his friends. Please, take a moment to send healing prayers for him.
In an Instagram post, former student Angelica Losada described Feis as "a friend to all students that know him," and "always so nice to me when I went to school there."
Feis graduated from Douglas High in 1999 and returned to be a coach in 2002, according to the school football team's website.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said on Wednesday night that "a beloved football coach is dead," but did not mention Feis by name.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Feis' family was notified that he had died in the early hours of Thursday morning.