BRUNSWICK, Ga. - PHOTOS: Here are all the victims of the Parkland school shooting
As the investigation into the Parkland mass shooting ramps up, more people in the Jacksonville area with connections to the school who are coming forward to talk about the people they lost, like assistant football coach Aaron Feis.
“Hearing the stories about Coach Feis, it just, it just totally hit me sideways,” said Kaden Culpepper.
Coach Feis is being remembered as a hero all over the country after he selflessly shielded students from the shooter and was shot, and later died. Culpepper spent four years with Coach Feis, and isn’t surprised by his heroism.
“A hero, a role model, a father figure; he’s a legend,” - former local student at #StonemanDouglasHigh talks about Coach Aaron Feis, the hero who shielded students from the shooter. @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/JBsKH1bisX— Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) February 16, 2018
“He just brought so much joy to all of us, the whole school. Coach Feis was the man,” he said.
Culpepper moved to Parkland with his mother at a young age. When he got older, he knew he wanted to play football but didn’t have a lot of money for equipment.
“He said don’t even worry about it. I’ll take care of you,” Culpepper said.
And he meant it.
“Taking me to practice, and picking me up for practice and paying every school year for me to play football out of his own pocket,” said Culpepper.
Culpepper said Coach Feis saw potential in everyone, and he inspired them to do their best, on and off the field.
“If I didn’t meet Coach Feis, and I didn’t play football, I wouldn’t be here,” - remembering #CoachFeis who shielded students from the shooter & was shot and later died. #StonemanDouglas @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/L9pqnOTvvY— Amber Krycka (@AmberANjax) February 17, 2018
“He saw something in me and so many of my brothers on the football team that we didn’t even realize. He brought out the fight in us, he brought out the best in us, and he brought out the men in us. If I didn’t meet Coach Feis, and I didn’t play football for him, I wouldn’t be here,” he said.
Culpepper doesn’t just admire Coach Feis, he plans to follow in his footsteps, becoming a teacher and coach.
“Having an idol like Coach Feis, I can do the same thing,” he said.
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