Teacher from Michigan helped save students during Florida shooti - WNEM TV 5

Teacher from Michigan helped save students during Florida shooting

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Source: WXYZ Source: WXYZ
CBS -

A high school teacher who saved students during a mass shooting in Florida is from Michigan, according to our affiliates at WXYZ.

"He's such a strong guy, a good guy. Always the type of person who thinks of everyone else except himself first,” Pamela Porter said of her son-in-law Ernie Rospierski.

Rospierski is a social sciences teacher at Stoneman Douglas High School in south Florida. Family said he jumped into action when a gunman went on the attacked Wednesday afternoon.

Just a few hours later, Rospierski told his mother-in-law about the terrifying moments inside that building.

"It was almost dismissal time and the fire alarm went off. So, his students were walking out of the classroom and he heard the gunshots. The door had shut behind him and locked. So, he couldn't get the kids back in the classroom, so he pushed them into a small alcove," Porter said.

Porter said Rospierski and his students were on the third floor. His cheek had been grazed by one of the bullets.

Then, he saw the gunman.

"He heard him reloading, so that’s when he told the students to run, just run down the stairwell," Porter said.

They all ran. Rospierski hid in the bathroom and eventually made it outside.  Porter said her son-in-law recognized the shooter as one of his former students.

"He said there were discipline problems with him, but he didn't have any problem with him in his class," Porter said.

In the middle of all the chaos, Porter’s daughter Andrea – who is Rospierski’s wife – was escaping, too. She’s an English teacher at the same school but in another building.

Porter said she is grateful her loved ones are OK, but her heart is with everyone who is hurting. She also praised all the heroes who jumped into action to help others, including her son-in-law.

"He was telling me I did what I had to do. I wanted to make sure those kids were OK,” Porter said.

Copyright 2018 CBS News / WXYZ. All rights reserved. 

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