PARKLAND (CBSMiami) — The assistant football coach who died after saving students during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was remembered and honored as so much more than that at his visitation which started Tuesday.
Visitation for Aaron Feis lasts from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday, at Church by the Glades, 400 Lakeview Drive, Coral Springs. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Church by the Glades.
On Tuesday night, the community was not only was able to grieve but received a bit of hope from a survivor in Columbine.
“It feels like the Columbine community. This one hit so close to home..felt like I was watching myself and my fellow classmates running out of that classrooms,” said Crystal Miller.
Nineteen years ago, it was Crystal Miller hiding under tables at Columbine. She’s a school shooting survivor now trying to comfort another community trying to survive a lot of heartache.
“There were heroes who ran toward the danger… so that students could be safe. And they paid with their lives. You now have the ability take their stories wherever you go,” said Miller.
Feis was both the assistant football coach and security guard but he was also a friend and confidante for many students.
Feis, who graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, also spent his entire career there.
This school alum died a hero.
When gunfire rang out on Feb. 14, officials say Feis ran towards the shooter and threw himself in front of students to shield them from bullets.
Feis, 37, was among 17 people killed when former student Nikolas Cruz stormed the campus with an AR-15.
The two other staff members who died while protecting students were Athletic Director Chris Hixon, 49, who coached the wrestling team and filled in as coach of 4 other teams, and geography teacher Scott Biegel, 35, who coached cross-country.
Feis, who lived in Coral Springs, is survived by his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Arielle.
Funeral services were also held Tuesday morning for 16-year-old Carmen Schentrup and 14-year-old Gina Montalto.
There were also viewings Tuesday for 15-year-old Peter Wang, and Chris Hixon.