By Jill Fox
A month after the third anniversary of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, a Coral Springs sergeant was honored for his bravery that day.
Sgt. Jeff Heinrich, a 25-year veteran of the Coral Springs Police Department, was honored with Law Enforcement Officer of the Day by the Florida House of Representatives.
Rep. Dan Daley, D-Coral Springs, gave Sgt. Heinrich the honor. On Thursday, he tweeted, “Today on the Florida House floor, we recognize Sgt. Jeff Heinrich… a hero by every definition of the word.”
As a volunteer on the baseball field where he helped the staff maintain the grounds, Sgt. Heinrich was off-duty and unarmed when he heard shots and ran towards the gunfire.
“Sgt. Heinrich was at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018, while many of us were standing here, in this chamber,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls, as he recounted the events of February 14.
During the shooting, Sgt. Heinrich administered first aid to MSD student Kyle Laman after he suffered a catastrophic gunshot wound to his lower leg. He used first-aid supplies found in the clubhouse near the baseball field and then turned Laman over to paramedics.
Afterward, “he grabbed a vest and a handgun and helped clear the building,” said Sprowls.
On Facebook, following a visit to the hospital, Sgt. Heinrich called Laman one of the strongest young men he had ever met.
During the shooting, he wasn’t alone. His son, Kevin, a junior at the time, and his wife, Marilyn, the former assistant athletic director, were also on the MSD campus.
“Words cannot express our gratitude for the bravery that you have shown on that day, at that school, with those kids, and throughout the course of your career,” said Sprowls. “We are proud of you, we are grateful for your service, and welcome to the Florida House.”
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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