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February 21, 2018

6ABC anchor pens open letter to student hero in Florida school shooting

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Anthony Borges Source/Family of Anthony Borges

Anthony Borges, 15, survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He was shot five times while shielding his classmates from bullets.

Stories of heroism and bravery in last week's deadly Florida school shooting have emerged as the silver linings in a tragedy that will never get easier to comprehend.

As students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mobilize their peers for responsible gun reform and troubling questions still surround the shooter, one of the more awe-inspiring anecdotes from the incident comes from a victim who was injured protecting his classmates.

Anthony Borges, a 15-year-old soccer player at the high school, was shot five times as he shielded his peers and rushed to the safety of a classroom. Borges was shot in the back and legs as he attempted to lead his classmates away from the bullets and lock a classroom door behind him.

The teen survived the attack and was visited in the hospital over the weekend by Broward County Sheriffs. A verified GoFundMe campaign for Borges had already raised more than $515,000 by Wednesday.

Monica Malpass, the veteran anchor and political analyst at 6ABC, was so moved by Borges' courage that she took to Facebook to write an open letter to the recovering student.

Here's the full text of Malpass's letter: 

Hi Anthony. I've never met you, but I was brought to tears when I read the story of your incredible actions on the day of the school shooting. I'm so sorry you are seriously injured. I cannot imagine the fear that raced through your body when you saw a gunman and heard shots fired at you and your friends. But you showed the courage of the greatest heroes when you chose to risk your life to help others. Most people freeze up with fear in the face of death, understandably. Other people run and save themselves, totally understandably. But 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. You are my inspiration. I anchor the news in Philadelphia and hear brutally sad stories every day. As a mother of 3 school aged boys, my heart stops every time I hear of a school shooting. I worry about every child in America and the horror that they might have to face on their way to science class, art or gym. I don't know why we grownups can't seem to protect our children from the tragedies in life. I don't know why we couldn't stop this event that hurt you so badly. The answers are complicated and they don't happen very quickly, which isn't much comfort. But here's what I do know beyond a doubt. 

You have proven with your Mt. Everest of courage that one person can make a difference in the BEST way...that we each can do something that matters in our own communities, and that there is more good than evil in this world. I will tell my children about your tremendous act of unconditional love, in hopes that they, too, will act courageously in their lives...and I pray that you get better soon. Thank you for inspiring an entire country. We all love you for it. Monica Malpass P.S. Please join me in sending words of love and encouragement to Anthony.

Those who wish to support Borges' recovering can make a donation here