Ft. Hood shooting victim was from Polk County - FOX 13 News

Ft. Hood shooting victim was from Polk County

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MULBERRY (FOX 13) -

It turns out that one of the three soldiers killed in a shooting rampage at Ft. Hood was from Polk County.

Sgt. First Class Danny Ferguson graduated from Mulberry High School in 1993.

The high school observed a moment of silence for Ferguson Friday morning.

He died when a gunman opened fire, killing three people and wounding 16 others. Ivan Lopez then turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

Kimberly Bowling is a teacher at the school, and was his classmate.

"He was a good guy," Bowling said. "Just nice, friendly, respectful. He liked to work out, so he was very muscular. He liked to play sports, so of course, that helped him out."

Ferguson played football, baseball, basketball and ran track.

In the Army, he was a movement specialist. He had just come back from Afghanistan when the incident at Ft. Hood happened.

He is now being called the hero of Ft. Hood. With his girlfriend just feet away, he held an unlocked door shut so that the shooter could not get into a room and potentially kill scores of people inside.

Mulberry High's vice principal Lori Leverett is calling Ferguson's death a teaching moment for her kids, and possibly for the rest of us.

"There is someone out there fighting for freedom every day," Leverett said. "And it's for them, and it's for our nation. In this case, Danny Ferguson didn't have to go abroad for our freedom. But he stood up against evil to protect those who fight for our freedom."

The town on Mulberry is just starting to honor Ferguson as a hero and for his service.

Leaders have not planned a memorial service yet but hinted it's a possibility.

Eastside Baptist Pastor Wayne Tanner said he was shocked when he learned of Ferguson's death but takes pride in his heroic actions.

"We raise good kids here, and I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the fact that he was willing to stand and protect others and keep them from harm," Tanner said.

The country may have lost the lives of three freedom fighters, but who knows how many more were saved because of the bravery of a guy from our own backyard.

Ferguson's family is not making any comment at this time, and are asking people to respect their privacy.

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