Army Vet Shot 5 Times Defending Classmates From Gunman

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As more details emerge about the tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College that left left 10 people dead and several injured, stories of heroism are coming into focus. One is that of Chris Mintz, a 30-year old Army veteran, who was shot five times as he tried to keep the shooter out of his classroom.

Luckily, the North Carolina native survived, and his family told Oregon's Fox 8 News that he was able to speak to them before he went into surgery. “He could have very easily died,” Wanda Mintz, the victim’s aunt, told the affiliate. “I really think that if he wasn't such a strong, young guy, he may have died."

Chris spent a decade in the Army, but was fortunate enough to make it through a deployment without any major incidents. Thursday was the fourth day of Chris' second year of community college classes. Chris reportedly cried, "It’s my son’s birthday, it’s my son’s birthday," after he was wounded. Chris is the father of a 6-year-old named Tyrik.
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A survivor from another classroom at the Oregon school said on The Today Show that she and her classmates were able to hide, once they locked the door and turned out the lights, but only after one was shot twice through the door, when she went to investigate the first shots.

"I’m in horrific shock right now," she said.

Chris suffered two broken legs and will need to relearn to walk, his aunt said, but he will survive. Without his efforts, more families could have been in mourning today.

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