As the effects of the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida last week continue to reverberate throughout the country, 6ABC news anchor Monica Malpass has focused on one of the tragedy’s “greatest heroes,” as she wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Anthony Borges, 15, was reportedly shot five times while shielding classmates in the Valentine’s Day shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A GoFundMe campaign set up for Borges, who survived the attack, says that the teen saved 20 classmates while closing and locking a door during the shooting. No one in the room was injured aside from Borges.
“It is a rare and truly gifted person, a real-life superhero, who can make such a selfless split-second decision to stand against the odds and help his friends,” Malpass wrote in an open letter to Borges. “You are my inspiration.”
According to the GoFundMe campaign, which is headed up by Borges’s father, Royer Borgers, the teen was shot in both of his legs and his back, and has a shattered thigh bone as a result of the attack. The campaign has so far raised more than $500,000, and indicates Borges is “alive and stable” but “has a long road” ahead of him.
“As a mother of three school-aged boys, my heart stops every time I hear of a school shooting,” Malpass wrote. “I don’t know why we grownups can’t seem to protect our children from the tragedies in life.”
Borges’ father Royer told ABC News in a recent interview that his son called him after being shot. While Borges described the scene, Royer, said, the teen didn’t tell him what he had done to save his classmates.
“He just called me and says, ‘Dad, somebody shot me in the back and my leg, too,’” Royer told ABC News. “He’s my hero.”
In her letter, Malpass spoke similarly of Borges, writing that his “tremendous act of unconditional love” will inspire her own children to “act courageously in their lives.”
“Thank you for inspiring an entire country,” Malpass concluded. “We all love you for it.”
Borges is one of 16 injured by alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, according to the Florida-based Sun-Sentinel. Cruz is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. The shooting was the deadliest at a U.S. high school to date, Reuters reports.
Read Malpass’ full letter to Borges below: