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Iowa high school principal who was shot while trying to protect students dies from his injuries

(PERRY, Iowa) — The Iowa high school principal who was shot and wounded while trying to protect his students during a school shooting earlier this month has died from his injuries, according to the school district.

Perry High School Principal Dan Marburger was among seven people injured in the Jan. 4 shooting. One student, 11-year-old sixth grader Ahmir Jolliff, was killed, authorities said.

The suspected shooter — a student at the high school — died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

“Our entire state is devastated by the news of Dan Marburger’s death,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement Sunday. “Dan courageously put himself in harm’s way to protect his students, and ultimately gave his own life to save them. He will forever be remembered for his selfless and heroic actions. May he rest in peace.”

Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona posted on X Sunday evening, saying he was “heartbroken” to hear Marburger had passed.

“Dan died a hero, protecting his students from the tragic shooting on January 4th, something no educator should have to do,” Cardona continued. “May he rest in peace & may we honor his memory with action.”

“Dan Marburger is more than the Perry High School Principal. Dan is a husband, a father, a grandpa, a son, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, and a friend who lives and breathes for his family,” his family wrote on GoFundMe. “Being the principal at Perry High School since 1995, also means that Dan’s family includes those who have ever walked the halls of Perry High School.”

“Dan Marburger gave the ultimate sacrifice,” his family said in a GoFundMe post Sunday. “All of the Marburger family and the entire Perry Community will forever be touched by the selflessness of Mr. Marburger.”

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