‘He fought hard’: Family remembers Iowa principal, heralded as hero, who died during deadly Perry High School shooting

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The Iowa high school principal – who was heralded as a hero for protecting students during the tragic shooting at Perry High School in January – died on Sunday, according to his family.

Principal Dan Marburger reportedly died at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Sunday. He was previously listed in “stable” condition at the hospital after being shot by the school shooter.

The somber announcement of the passing of 57-year-old Dan Marburger was made by his wife on a GoFundMe page.

“Although the news has not fully set in yet, Dan Marburger gave the ultimate sacrifice. After 10 days, he lost his battle and this tragedy took his life,” wrote Elizabeth Marburger – the principal’s wife. “Although Dan is no longer fighting with us here, his family will continue to deal with the unfathomable for many days, week, and years to come.”

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“All of the Marburger family and the entire Perry Community will forever be touched by the selflessness of Mr. Marburger,” the update stated. “This GoFundMe will continue to be used for the Marburger family as they process through and live out Dan’s legacy.”

“He fought hard and gave us 10 days that we will treasure forever,” the distraught wife said.

Marburger was applauded for his efforts during the school shooting in Iowa on Jan. 4, where he reportedly distracted the shooter away from young students.

The principal’s daughter – Claire Marburger – wrote on social media, “Yet another post I didn’t imagine having to write…If you are lucky enough to know my dad, you know there are not enough words to say about him.”

Claire Marburger served as Perry High School’s varsity girls’ basketball coach last year and still works for the school district.

When the shooter entered the Perry High School on Jan. 4, Marburger reportedly distracted the alleged murderer to prevent further shooting deaths.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement, “Our entire state is devastated by the news of Dan Marburger’s death. Kevin and I offer our deepest condolences to his wife and family as we pray for their comfort during this very difficult time. 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.”

On Sunday, Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to be lowered to half-staff to commemorate Marburger’s sacrifice.

During the shooting at Perry High School, two other school staff members and four students were wounded. Two of the students remained hospitalized as of Friday.

Marburger – a native of Sabula, an eastern Iowa town on the Mississippi River –earned a master’s in educational administration from Drake University.

Marburger had reportedly worked in the Perry school district for nearly 30 years.

Marburger purportedly taught physical education and was an athletic director and middle school administrator. He had reportedly been a principal at the school since 1995.

The alleged shooter reportedly murdered a sixth-grade student from Perry Middle School and injured five others – including Marburger.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is working with Perry Police Department and Dallas County authorities to figure out the horrific case.

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