Hero teacher saved group of students in Florida shootingby Richard Bailey 15/02/2018 11:12:00 0 comments 1 Views
- Student Kelsey Friend paid tribute to the teacher Scott Beigel
- He allowed her and a group of fleeing students into his classroom on Wednesday
- As he was locking the door after letting them in, he was shot by Nikolas Cruz
- Kelsey said the gunman did not know they were all hiding inside because the teacher's body was blocking the doorway
- She and other students cowered beside and behind his desk, next to his dead body
- Cruz, 19, was a former student of the school who was expelled last year
- Students have said he was 'obsessed' with weapons and that they predicted he would carry out a mass attack
By Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com
Published: 08:56 EST, 15 February 2018 | Updated: 11:12 EST, 15 February 2018
A teenage girl who survived the massacre at her Florida high school on Wednesday spoke through tears to describe the hero teacher who saved her life this morning.
Kelsey Friend broke down on Thursday morning as she paid tribute to the 35-year-old geography teacher Scott Beigel.
'I am alive today because of him,' Kelsey told GMA.
She was part of a group of students who were fleeing gunman Nikolas Cruz who went on a bloody rampage through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing at least 17 and injuring many more.
He is one of three heroic teachers who died protecting youngsters. Football coaches Aaron Feis died in a similar way, shielding a group of kids from Cruz, and athletic director Chris Hixon was also murdered.
Kelsey Friend sobbed as she described how her heroic geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35, (right) saved her life by letting her into his classroom to hide by his desk before he was shot dead as he tried to relock the door
Teenager Jaime Guttenberg was the first student to be named as a victim. Many are yet to be formally identified.
Beigel saw the group of students fleeing and let them into his classroom to take refuge.
As they cowered by his desk, Cruz walked past and, before the teacher could lock the door again, he was shot dead.
'He unlocked the door and let us in. I thought he was behind me but he wasn't. When he opened the door, he had to relock it so that we could stay safe but he didn't get the chance,' Kelsey sobbed during a later appearance on CNN.
In a heartbreaking message to his family, she turned to the camera and said: 'I am alive today because of him. Thank you for bringing and having this amazing person in life and giving him the power to be stronger than I could have ever been.
'He will be missed by me and multiple friends, his name with me will live on.'
She added that it was only his first year teaching at the school.
She said she did not know the man was dead until she realized he was laying motionless.
'Someone said, "Mr. Beigel is not moving. He is laying in the doorway, but he is not moving.'"
Many of the students have revealed that they thought the shooting was a drill until they started seeing victims.
In an earlier interview, Kelsey said she and other students thought the massacre was a code red drill until they saw the teacher lying dead on the floor
Hero football coach Aaron Feis died protecting students from the gunfire
Student Jaime Guttenberg is the first teengaer to be confirmed dead
Athletic director Chris Hixon died at the school. He was 49
It has not been confirmed that a drill was planned, but students said they'd heard a 'rumor' that they would have to take part in a 'code red' practice exercise.
'I thought, "I don't know if this is real or fake. We heard a rumor that police would do a fake code red around the school with fake arms.
'I thought it was a drill until I saw my teacher dead on the floor,' Kelsey said.
Gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, is in custody. He is a former student
She described the scene around campus as 'like a movie'.
'I saw blood and I saw two students curled up in balls. I saw more blood, backpacks thrown everywhere. It was like a movie scene.
'There was gunpowder all over the floor. I just started screaming.'
David Hogg, a senior, told how a mystery female janitor saved his life and many others by telling them to run in the opposite direction as Cruz sprayed bullets in the halls of the freshman wing of the school.
Sickeningly, the 19-year-old had triggered fire alarms to draw teenagers out into the corridors where he could kill more at a time.
When Hogg his classmates heard the alarms, they started running to their emergency evacuation point.
The janitor stopped them.
'The janitor said guys, you can't go this way. Go this way. She saved my life and easily 40 others,' Hogg said.
Cruz is pictured being taken into county jail in a hospital gown. He evaded police for an hour by fleeing the school with a crowd of frightened students
Students leave the school on Wednesday with their arms on each other's shoulders