2015: UCC shooting hero hopes for 'a community healing'

UCC shooting hero Chris Mintz shares his story

Originally published October 17, 2015:

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- An Army veteran who ran from building to building to warn fellow college students that a gunman was loose on their Oregon campus has posted his story on Facebook, describing being shot by a man who acted "like he was playing a video game and showed no emotion."

Chris Mintz, who has been credited with helping to save other Umpqua Community College students, was shot five times and is recovering. Nine of his classmates were killed during the Oct. 1 shooting rampage and nine more were injured. The gunman, Chris Harper Mercer, killed himself as police closed in on him.

Background: More than $724K raised for hero shot 7 times standing up to shooter

"The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me," Mintz, 30, wrote in a Facebook post dated Thursday. "He shot me again while I was on the ground and hit my finger and said, 'That’s what you get for calling the cops.'"

At one point, the gunman pointed his weapon at Mintz's face.

"He leaned further out of the classroom and tried to shoot my phone," Mintz wrote. "I yelled 'It's my kid's birthday, man.' He pointed the gun right at my face and then he retreated back into the class. I’m still confused at why he didn’t shoot me again."

Mintz said he began to see police officers coming toward him as he lay immobilized by pain. He said he was thinking of his 6-year-old son, Tyrik.

"A friend came out of the classroom and kneeled down beside me, traumatized and crying," he wrote. "I think she tried to pray with me. The only thing I could say was, 'It's my son’s birthday, please call my son's mom and tell her I can’t pick him up from school today.'"

Watch: Roseburg shooting hero Chris Mintz: 'I'm overwhelmed by the support'

Mintz said he was in his writing class listening to his teacher talk about assignments when gunfire broke out and the students took off running out of the building.

"A counselor kept screaming that someone needed to tell the people in the library, and I told her I'd do it," Mintz wrote. "I ran in and told everyone they needed to leave and go to the other side of the campus ... I ran back towards Snyder (Hall) and people across campus were walking around like nothing was going on, so I continued yelling at them to get out of there ... I saw a young girl who seemed to just be showing up to school and I yelled at her, 'You can't be here, there’s somebody shooting, you need to leave.' Her face, it changed, she seemed so scared."

Mintz said he then started making his way toward a classroom.

"I got to a classroom and looked into the door because it had a glass slate," he wrote. "A guy that was further away and hiding behind cars startled me and yelled, 'Don't man, he's going to shoot you man.'  I stepped back a little bit and noticed a lady's foot wedged in the door ... there was so much blood and it was so dark."

Mintz said he nudged the door closed.

"I could only see one of the students through the door, she was screaming, and yelling and covered in blood," he wrote. "I heard the sirens coming down and yelled to the guy in the parking lot, 'You need to go get the cops, tell them where we’re at.' He couldn't hear me so I had to repeat it a few times. All of a sudden, the shooter opened the classroom door beside the door to my left, he leaned half of his torso out and started shooting as I turned toward him."

Photos: Victims killed in UCC Shooting

Mintz wrote that he decided to tell his story on Facebook because "I’m not doing this for publicity and I don’t want any media outlet to alter it in any way."

"This isn’t about politics, this isn’t about me, this is about a community healing," he wrote. "I am so happy with how the community has bonded and supported everyone during this healing."

He said the real heroes are the first-responders and the doctors and nurses at the hospital.

"They saved us," he wrote.

Mintz said he was shot in the left leg, which broke his femur. He also was shot in the right leg, which broke his tibia and fibula. One bullet pierced his abdomen and exited through his right hip. Another bullet struck the top of his shoulder blade and is still lodged in his back. He said it missed his aorta by about an inch. His left ring finger also was shattered by a bullet.

"I am recovering well and thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers," he wrote.

Related stories:

Girl wounded in UCC shooting released from hospital

UCC shooting survivor improving, but long recovery ahead

Student recounts teacher's brave actions in mass shooting

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