A student revealed that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter spared his life after he bumped into the gunman as he was loading his AR-15 in a school corridor. After his encounter with the soon-to-be shooter, the student, 15, ran for help, alerting the hero coach who gave his life while shielding students from the gunfire.
Chris McKenna was on his way to the bathroom on Wednesday when he happened to cross paths with Nikolas Cruz, who was loading his assault rifle, in the hallway.
“You’d better get out of here,” said Cruz, according to McKenna, who did not know the shooter. “Things are gonna start getting messy.”
After the chance encounter, McKenna rushed out of the building to find help. He ran into Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach and school security guard, and told him what happened.
“I told him I saw a gun,” said McKenna. “He said, ‘Let me go check it out.’ Then he drove me to the baseball field, dropped me off, and went back to the school. That’s the last I saw of him.”
Feis, a 37-year-old father, guided McKenna to safety and then went back into the school, a move that would prove fatal.
Feis was killed, just moments later, as he attempted to shield other students from the barrage of gunfire.
Kelsey Friend, one of the students Feis saved, said he was her “hero.”
During an interview, as reported by the Daily Mail, McKenna was still trying to process how his fateful trip to the bathroom may have saved his life, as well as the fact that three of his friends were killed by the shooter, and a fourth was hospitalized.
On Wednesday, Cruz, a former student who was expelled for disciplinary reasons approximately one year ago, went into the school and opened fire with an AR-15, killing 17 and wounding many more.
Cruz managed to leave the school, blending in with fleeing students, though was captured nearly an hour later in a gated community about two miles away.
An official GoFundMe campaign has been opened to help “provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific shooting.”