When a crazed 17-year-old gunman stormed Perry High School and entered the cafeteria, Principal Dan Marburger sprang into action. While little about his precise actions has been released, the state Department of Public Safety said Marburger “acted selflessly and placed himself in harm’s way in an apparent effort to protect his students.” This selflessness got him shot as he gave students a chance to escape from the violence.
Sadly, at 8 am on January 14th, he succumbed to his wounds. His wife Elizabeth wrote on their GoFundMe, “Dan lost his battle. He fought hard and gave us ten days that we will treasure forever.”
Once the sad news broke, Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds offered her official condolences to Marburger, his family, and the Perry community. Ordering official flags in Iowa to go to half-staff that day and to remain there until the sunset of his funeral. She further requested people, businesses, schools, and local governments do the same with their flags for the duration as well.
Thanks to Marburger, another educator, and four older teens, the gunman only killed one student and left a few others injured, most minorly. A man who was known to be fiercely loyal to his students, his school, and his family, nobody was surprised to hear he was in the thick of it. With the shooter taking his own life, none of these people will see Marburger get the justice he deserves.
For many of the loved ones he left behind, they take some level of solace in knowing that he gave his life in defense of the very children he gave his all for. For those who take on this kind of responsibility, it’s a sacrifice they are willing to pay without hesitation.