Chris Mintz heroically braced seven bullets in the Oregon college shooting on Oct. 1 while trying to protect other possible victims from being in the line of Chris Harper-Mercer’s fire. Here are five things you need to know about Umpqua Community College’s new hero, who bravely risked his life during the tragedy.
Rather than repeatedly mentioning gunman Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, following the tragic Oregon school shooting on Oct. 1, a movement has been made to instead put Chris Mintz in the headlines. The 30-year-old has been hailed as a hero after the violent massacre due to his selfless decision to put himself right in the shooter’s line of fire in an attempt to protect others. Get to know Chris here!
1. He suffered bad injuries after the attack
Chris took seven bullets in the back, abdomen and hands when Harper-Mercer opened fire in his classroom. He was taken into surgery once he arrived at the hospital, and diagnosed with two broken legs. He’s expected to survive and looked very optimistic in a photo taken from the hospital, but he reportedly may have to learn to walk again due to the breaks.
2. He’s an army vet
Those who know Chris were not surprised that he stepped up to the plate in this horrible situation. He served in the Army for ten years before relocating to Oregon, and had actually just started school at UCC this year. Chris was also on the wrestling team in high school and has done cage-fighting, so he definitely has an instinct to fight hard, which is exactly what he did.
3. Oct. 1 was a very important day for him
While Chris lay wounded on the floor, he was continuously muttering that it was his son’s sixth birthday. The army vet had just posted about the memorable event on his Facebook page hours earlier, and had recently moved to Oregon just to help raise his son, so it’s clear that the young boy means a lot to him.
4. He did even MORE for possible victims than just take bullets
Chris’ bad injuries are being talked about, but what most of the public might not know is that he was even more aggressive in his attempt to get people to safety than we originally knew about. “He ran to the library and pulled the alarms and he was telling people to run, grabbing people, telling them, ‘You just have to go,” a witness told ABC News. “He actually ran back towards the building where the shooting was.”
5. He needs OUR help with his medical bills. Please donate!
The costs for all the surgery and physical therapy Chris will need is likely to add up QUICKLY. In an effort to help fund the procedures, his cousin, Derek Bourgeois, set up a GoFundMe page so supporters can send donations. “The funds are going to be sent directly to Chris to assist with his recovery (medical bills, paying his bills while he’s out of work, childcare for his son, etc),” Derek wrote. Of course, anything anybody can contribute will be greatly appreciated by the family.
Our thoughts remain with the victims and Roseburg community after this horrible tragedy.
— Alyssa Norwin