As dozens of students ran from gunfire, one man chose to run toward danger in order to save countless lives.
Army veteran Chris Mintz protected his fellow classmates at Umpqua Community College in Oregon when a man began shooting on campus on Thursday, Oct 1. The gunman killed nine people and critically injured seven others during his rampage. He later died, though it’s unclear if the gunman was killed by police or by committing suicide.
Mintz’s aunt, Wanda, told CBS News that Mintz “[tried] to block the door to keep the gunman from coming in, gets shot three times, hits the floor, looks up at gunman and says, ‘it’s my son’s birthday today,’ gets shot two more times.”
“His vital signs are okay,” Ariana Earnhardt, Mintz’s cousin, said. “He’s going to have to learn to walk again but he walked away with his life and that’s more than so many other people did.”
The motive of the shooter, whose name has not been released to the public, is still unknown. According to police, the shooter wore heavy body armor and was carrying a large amount of ammunition.
That evening, Umpqua students gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the lives that were lost and those who still have a long road to recovery.