A 15-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student is being called a hero after he took five bullets in order to save at least 20 other students during the deadliest school shooting in Florida’s history.
Anthony Borges, who is still recovering from his injuries, was caught in a hail of bullets when shooter Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the high school Wednesday afternoon, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 17 students and teachers. Cruz has confessed to the crime.
Anthony was attempting to close and lock the door to a classroom to help save the other students when he was shot in both legs, according to a GoFundMe page that is collecting donations for his recovery. One bullet went through his back. His left upper thigh bone was shattered.
“He has a long road of recovery ahead of him but he is alive and stable,” the page says. The Broward Sheriff’s office has confirmed that the GoFundMe is legitimate.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, Anthony’s GoFundMe page had blown past its goal of collecting $5,000. At that time, more than $210,000 had been raised from over 6,300 donations for his recovery expenses.
Carlos Rodriguez, a friend of Anthony’s, said the two were in Building 12 when the shooting began and Anthony and his classmates rushed to hide in a classroom as the gunman advanced on them.
“None of us knew what to do. So [Anthony] took the initiative to just save his other classmates,” Carlos told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Carlos said Anthony was the last to go inside and stood his ground in the doorway, acting as a human shield to the students huddled in the classroom behind him.
Anthony’s father, Royer Borges, told ABC News that Anthony called him after the shooting.
“He just called me and says, ‘Dad, somebody shot me in the back and my leg, too,” Royer Borges told ABC News.
Since, Anthony has undergone hours of surgery, and his father asks that people pray for his son’s recovery.
“He’s my hero,” Royer Borges said.
Praise for Anthony’s act of selflessness poured in across social media. The student, a soccer player at the school, got a shout-out from American soccer player Landon Donovan, who posted the GoFundMe on his Twitter feed with the message, “Soccer community: One of our own was a hero last week and needs our help. Please donate if you can.”
On GoFundMe, donations have poured in from around the country.
“Hello from Arkansas! So proud of you for protecting your classmates! I have a son your age and it breaks my heart to see what you are going through. You are a strong young man and will be out of that hospital before you know it!” wrote Julie Barber, who donated to Anthony’s fund.
In a photo posted Sunday on Twitter, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel can be seen visiting the teen and holding his hand. Anthony’s hospital room was decorated in “Get Well Soon” and Valentine’s Day balloons. Broward Health Systems could not confirm at which hospital Anthony is being treated.
“The Sheriff was honored to visit Anthony Borges, 15, in the hospital,” the Sheriff’s office tweeted “...Fortunately, he is recovering, but has a long road ahead with more surgeries needed. Please join us in praying for the swift recovery of Anthony and all others from #StonemanDouglas.”
As of Monday morning, four shooting victims are still being treated at area hospitals. Two are at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach and two are at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. All, including one victim who had remained in critical condition in the days following the shooting, are now in fair condition.