Flyers' Gostisbehere reflects on deadly shooting at his Florida high school

Sarah Bloomquist Image
Thursday, February 15, 2018
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Flyers' star reflects on deadly shooting at his Florida high school . Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 5pm on February 15, 2018.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The mass shooting at a Florida high school hit close to home for Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere.

Gostisbehere, 24, was born in Broward County and attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"I really haven't processed it yet. I still can't believe it. I was just in that school. I was only there for two years, but I felt safe in that school every day I was there and to see something like that happen to those kids and those teachers, it sucks," Gostisbehere said.

Gostisbehere learned of the shooting as the events were unfolding on Wednesday afternoon.

"It was one of my buddies. He texted basically there was a shooting. Obviously, my girlfriend and I turned on whatever news station there was at the time and obviously it sucks to see. Those are the hallways you walked one time before," he said. "But, it's just a tragic event. A tragic day."

Gostisbehere told reporters he was familiar with Aaron Feis, the assistant football coach and security guard who pushed students out of the way and jumped in the line of fire to save lives.

"Obviously, he's the true hero and he's the guy we need to focus on rather than the actual suspect," Gostisbehere said.

He still has family in the area, and knew of some of the victims. It wasn't long ago that he visited the school.

"My grandparents live a mile away from school. I lived 10 minutes away. It's a tough time. It was just voted the safest city in Florida last year. To see a tragic event like that, it's obviously some shock right now," said Gostisbehere.

Earlier Thursday morning, the Flyers released a statement from Gostisbehere:

"As a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, I am extremely saddened by the horrific news from yesterday and with a heavy heart, my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the tragedy in Parkland, Florida."

According to the Flyers, Gostisbehere learned how to skate at the Incredible Ice facility where the Florida Panthers practiced in Coral Springs, which is just miles from the high school.

Gostisbehere is considered the first player born and raised in South Florida to make it to the NHL.

Authorities say 17 people were killed when a gunman opened fire in the high school on Wednesday afternoon.

Later that night, the Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks held a moment of silence for the victims of the tragedy prior to their game in Canada.

"A moment of silence for our South Florida community. Thank you to the Canucks and the NHL for standing with us," the Panthers tweeted.


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