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The terrifying school shooting that happened yesterday (Feb. 14) left 17 dead in Florida, but it could have been even worse if Aaron Feis didn’t step in.

Feis, an assistant football coach and security guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, jumped in front of bullets to protect students from the gunman. The Sun Sentinel confirmed that a female student said Feis got between her and the shooter and pushed her to safety. Reports initially hit Twitter saying that Feis had died immediately after being shot, but that was proved to be wrong by Jordan May, the son of the head coach.

“Coach Feis has not passed. He was shot but is not dead,” May said on Twitter last night. But by last night, all hope had been exhausted as Feis had succumbed to his wounds.

Following his death, May spoke to the Sun Sentinel about what Feis meant to the school’s community and how good of a man he was.

“Big ol’ teddy bear. Hardcore—he coached hard. Real good line. He did a great job with the [offensive] line. He took pride with working with those guys. Loyalty—I trusted him. He had my back. He worked hard. Just a good man. Loved his family. Loved his brother—just an excellent family man,” May told the Sun Sentinel.

According to the team website Feis played football for the high school until he graduated in 1999. As an adult, he lived in nearby Coral Springs with his wife and daughter and worked mainly with the school’s junior varsity teams.

The students who worked with Feis daily echoed those same sentiments of him being an upstanding person. “He was a great guy. Everyone loved him. Shame he had to go like this. Always gave his all to making us better. Definitely learned a lot from him,” said Gage Gaynor, a Douglas football player.

CNN has since reported that the school will remain closed for at least the rest of the week with grief counseling being made available to all students and family members.

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