Iowa principal who was hailed a hero in Perry High School shooting dies of injuries
Jan 14, 2024, 6:13 PM
(Perry Community School District)
(CNN) — An Iowa principal who acted heroically to save students during a mass shooting at Perry High School earlier this month has died from his injuries in the attack, according to his wife.
The shooting at the school near Des Moines initially left one sixth-grade student dead and seven others, including Principal Dan Marburger, injured after a 17-year-old student opened fire on January 4.
“At approximately 8:00 am, January 14, Dan lost his battle,” his wife Elizabeth Marburger posted in a GoFundMe campaign set up when he was still in the hospital. “He fought hard and gave us 10 days that we will treasure forever.”
The attack marked the second shooting on a school property in the US within the first few days of 2024.
Marburger, who authorities say was shot multiple times, was hailed a hero after trying to save students by talking to and distracting the shooter as the deadly attack unfolded, his daughter Claire Marburger shared on social media shortly after the shooting.
“As I heard of a gunman, I instantly had a feeling my Dad would be a victim as he would put himself in harm’s way for the benefit of the kids and his staff. It is absolutely zero surprise to hear he tried to approach and talk Dylan down and distract him long enough for some students to get out of the cafeteria,” Marburger’s daughter said.
Iowa Department of Public Safety said Marburger “acted selflessly and placed himself in harm’s way in an apparent effort to protect his students.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered flags lowered to half-staff on Sunday.
“Our entire state is devastated by the news of Dan Marburger’s death. Kevin and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife and family as we pray for their comfort during this very difficult time,” Reynolds said in a statement.
“Dan courageously put himself in harm’s way to protect his students, and ultimately gave his own life to save them. He will forever be remembered for his selfless and heroic actions. May he rest in peace.”
Marburger worked at schools in Perry, Iowa, for at least 25 years, according to the Perry Community School District.
Officers responded to the shooting on the first Thursday of the year within minutes and discovered several people at the high school suffering gunshot wounds. They then located the gunman with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, CNN previously reported.
The Perry Middle School student also killed in the shooting was identified as 11-year-old Ahmir Jolliff, who was shot three times in the attack, according to authorities.
CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe, Raja Razek, Holly Yan, Ashley R. Williams, Andy Rose, Dakin Andone, Evan Perez and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.
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