Even a month and a half after the Parkland shooting, it’s still very much on everyone’s minds. Many of the students that were there on that fateful day have been in the spotlight ever since. While some of the more vocal teens have become household names, lobbying for stricter gun control, there’s one teen who did something very heroic and hasn’t been noticed much at all.
When the shooter came into the school, there were various places that the students and faculty fled to for safety. There were heartbreaking stories of students whose teachers used their bodies to barricade the doors to keep the shooter out. Another teacher, Assistant Football Coach Aaron Feis, shielded his students with his body, which killed him but saved multiple of his charges.
The sacrifice that those teachers made was incredible, and something that we hope any teacher would do for the kids in their class. What wasn’t expected was for another student to stand up to the bullets and protect his classmates, but that’s just what Anthony Borges did when the bullets were flying. NBC reports that Borges saved as many as 20 lives during the Parkland attack, but that he doesn’t consider himself a hero:
“Anthony Borges, the young man credited with saving up to 20 lives during the Parkland, Florida, school rampage, doesn’t believe he’s a hero.
Finally, home from the hospital after nine surgeries, Borges, 15, told the ‘Today’ show’s Kerry Sanders in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he simply feels lucky to be alive.
‘I think I was going to die,’ he said.
Borges was shot five times during the Feb. 14 school shooting, which killed 17 people. He barricaded a classroom door and used his body as a shield as the bullets flew, protecting a class full of students from harm.
His parents, too, feel fortunate that their son survived. But they also think the systems to protect students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School failed that day — and now plan to sue the school.
‘This is the poster child for everything going wrong,’ family attorney Alex Arreaza told ‘Today’ on Wednesday. The family is set to hold a news conference soon to announce their lawsuit against the school for negligence.
Borges has been flooded with boxes upon boxes of letters from strangers thanking him for his bravery, some from as far away as Venezuela, the family’s home country.
A third of Borges’ lung had to be removed. One bullet came dangerously close to his liver, and three others tore through his legs.
‘He’s a hero,’ Arreaza said. ‘He’s the real deal.’
His family has moved from their walk-up apartment to a ground-floor unit to accommodate Borges as he continues to recover. But the future looks promising: Doctors have told the family that Borges will be back to playing soccer eventually.
And Borges has kept a positive outlook.
‘I feel good,’ he told ‘Today’ from the bed at his home where he is recuperating.
Former Stoneman Douglas student Nicholas Cruz, 19, has been charged with 17 counts of pre-meditated murder in the shooting.
Like Borges’ parents, his close friend Carlitos Rodriguez, who was on lockdown that day, believes the massacre could have been prevented.
‘It shouldn’t have happened on Feb. 14. It shouldn’t have happened ever, not in my school or any other school,’ Rodriguez told ‘Today.’”
Borges and his fellow students went through a horrible tragedy and while 17 is way too many lives to lose, the death toll would have been much higher if it hadn’t been for those who gave up their lives to save others. Fox News reported the names and details of each of the victims who died that day. Here are a few of the heroes who died trying to save others:
“Geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35, saved students from the gunman when he helped them enter a locked classroom. In his bravery, he sacrificed his life.
Student Kelsey Friend told Good Morning America her teacher unlocked his door so that he could let students inside his classroom and shelter.
‘I thought he was behind me, but he wasn’t,’ an emotional Friend said of Beigel. ‘When he opened the door, he had to re-lock it so we could stay safe, but he didn’t get the chance to.’
Peter Wang was last seen holding the door open so that others could escape, his cousin, Aaron Chen, told the Miami Herald.
Wang, 15, was part of the school’s ROTC program and was reportedly wearing the organization’s sweatshirt the day of the shooting.
‘He is so brave. He is the person who is genuinely kind to everyone. He doesn’t care about popularity. He always liked to cheer people up,’ Wang’s cousin, Lin Chen, told the Sun Sentinel. ‘He is like the big brother everyone wished they had.’
Wang’s parents own a restaurant in West Palm Beach, and he has two younger brothers.
‘I feel the family can never be the same,’ Chen said.
A White House petition asked for Wang to receive a full honors military burial. It received more than 64,000 signatures before Wang’s funeral.
West Point, where Wang dreamed of attending school, posthumously admitted him to the academy, the Sun Sentinel reported.”
Thankfully Borges was able to save as many as 20 students and still live to tell about it. Others weren’t so lucky, but we will never forget the sacrifice that they made so that others could live. The real heroes are the ones who put themselves in the way of danger in order to save their friends.