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Woman hugs girl near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

In the wake of the school shooting in southern Florida yesterday, stories of heroes who rose to the occasion to protect their students and classmates are being shared across the country.

Read the about the heroes — from a football coach who shielded his students from gunfire to a teacher who hid her class in a closet — from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Football coach shielded students

The assistant football coach and school security guard Aaron Feis stood in front of students, protecting them while the shooter gunned him down, says the football team.

"He died the same way he lived -- he put himself second."
— Denise Lehtio, high school spokeswoman
Teacher hid her class in a closet

Melissa Falkowski, a journalism teacher at the school huddled 19 students in a closet while gunfire rang in the halls. She and the students all survived. Falkowski told NBC News that some of her students were "hysterical" while she tried to ensure their safety until SWAT could escort them out of the building.

"This is the worst nightmare that could ever happen to you."
— Melissa Falkowski told CNN
Janitor ushered students to safety

An unnamed school janitor guided students away from the shooter and into a classroom where they hid until the building was cleared. Student David Hogg said they were only about 100 feet away from the gunman.

"There was a janitor that thank God stopped me and all of my fellow students from going in that direction, towards the shooter."
— Hogg said to KTRK

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.

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