Heroic teacher who saved students in Florida high school mass shooting is from metro Detroit

Posted at 11:02 AM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 16:41:34-05

One of the high school teachers who saved students during the mass shooting at a Douglas High School is from metro Detroit.

Ernie Rospierski is from the area and now teaches at the high school in Parkland, Fla.

We're told Rospierski and his wife Andrea Kowalski-Rospierski, who also teaches at the district, are both from the area. His wife's LinkedIn profile shows her graduating from both Northern Michigan University and Wayne State University.

Andrea's father tells us Ernie grew up in Roseville.

The Miami Herald wrote about what Rospierski did during the shooting in an article titled, "This teacher thought it was a drill but then heard shooting. He kept students safe."

According to the Herald, Rospierski was sitting at his desk when the fire alarm rang about 2:25 p.m. His students began leaving the classroom and that's when he heard gunfire.

He yelled to the students, "Turn around, go to your classrooms," according to the Herald.

According to the Herald, Rospierski led students into open classrooms, and by the time he got to his room, the suspected shooter, identified as Nikolas Cruz, was at the end of the hallway.

He pushed 8 kids into into an alcove by the door because his door was locked, according to the Herald.

The Herald reports that's when he felt a bullet graze his cheek. The Herald said that as the gunman reloaded, Rospierski pushed the students toward the stairs to escape, following closely behind.

Eventually, Rospierski hid in a bathroom when the shooting started again, while his students got out of the school.

"My biggest concern wasn't for me, it was for my wife more than anything else," Rospierski told the Miami Herald.

In all, 17 people were killed in the shooting with 15 others wounded.