Melissa Falkowski

Last Wednesday, a broken young man took a high-powered rifle into his old high school and murdered 17 people, wounding 14 others. It was yet  another senseless act of killing by a lone gunman. These are becoming commonplace, and I am continually having to make the tough decision on how to go forward with my column of celebrity news. After the Vegas shooting, I shelved the stories on Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian for one week, and instead focused on those who acted bravely during the shooting. And once again, it seems necessary to diverge from the celebrity gossip and take time to honor those who acted as heroes. 

These are some of the many heroes of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. 

Aaron Feis

The football coach and security guard shielded students as the gunman open fired. Witness said they saw Feis jumping “in front of bullets to save some student’s lives.” A true act of courage, and one that should never be forgotten.

Described by people who knew him as a hard worker, and a man who put everyone else’s needs before his own. Feis made the ultimate sacrifice that day, being one of the 17 people that lost their lives. 

“It is with Great sadness that our Football Family has learned about the death of Aaron Feis,” read the high school football team’s Twitter account. “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”

Feis, who graduated from the school in 1999, is survived by his wife and his daughter.

Melissa Falkowski

The teacher hid 19 students in a closet during the shooting. After a security guard alerted her of gunfire, she acted quickly to find students walking in the hallways and ushered them into her classroom.

Calling the event a “worst nightmare,” Falkwoski ‘s quick thinking may have saved 19 souls. “We sort of huddled in the corner for a few minutes and then I made the decision to move everyone to the closet,” Falkowski told CNN. There they waited until SWAT officers secured the room.

Scott Beigel

The geography teacher is being praised as a hero for unlocking his door and letting students in to hide from the gunman. In the process of letting students into the classroom, Biegel was shot and killed.

Kelsey Friend, a student at Stoneman Dougles, says Beigel saved her life.

“He was my hero and he will forever be my hero,” Friend told CNN. “I’ll never forget the actions he took for me and for fellow students in the classroom.

Beigel studied education at the University of Miami and was also the school’s cross-country coach. “He was an amazing person and I am alive today because of him. He will be missed,” said Friend.

Surely, there were many others who acted bravely during the shooting, including police and first responders. Aaron Feis, Melissa Falkowski, and Scott Beigel may not be as recognizable as some of the others that have graced this celebrity column, but maybe they should.

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