An Army veteran who survived combat was shot several times as he charged at the Oregon gunman

An Army veteran who made it through a combat deployment without sustaining any serious injuries was shot several times as he rushed toward a gunman who was opening fire at a community college in Oregon.

Chris Mintz, 30, was in his first week of class at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday when 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer walked into Snyder Hall, where classes are held, and started shooting.

Mintz reportedly “trie[d] to block the door to keep the gunman from coming in,” Mintz’s aunt, Wanda Mintz, told Q13 Fox News in Oregon.

Posted by Chris Mintz on Monday, September 28, 2015

In 911 tapes from the shooting, a dispatcher said the shooter was “outside one of the doors shooting through the door,” according to The Oregonian. The shooting was reportedly confined to one classroom.

After the gunman gained entry to the classroom, Chris got shot three times, hit the floor, and then looked up at the gunman and said “it’s my son’s birthday today,” according to Wanda. He then reportedly got shot two more times.

A public Facebook page identified as belonging to Chris shows this as the most recent post, from the day of the shooting:

Chris Mintz Facebook

Chris is now recovering in the hospital from several gunshot wounds and two broken legs. He is expected to survive, but family members told news stations that he will likely have to re-learn how to walk.

“We’re not sure how his legs got broken,” another aunt, Sheila Brown, told NBC News. “He was on the wrestling team and and he’s done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically.”

Chris served in the Army for about 10 years, family members said. He is originally from North Carolina, but had been living in Oregon to raise his son.

Oregon School umpqua
A patient is wheeled into the emergency room at Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, Ore., following a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. Aaron Yost/Roseburg News-Review via AP

Chris had also gotten involved in mixed martial arts since moving to Oregon and hoped to become a fitness trainer, cousin Derek Bourgeois told The Daily Beast. Chris and Bourgeois joined the Army together after they graduated from high school had both been deployed.

Bourgeois “was somewhat amazed that a guy who survived a combat deployment without serious injury had come so close to being killed in a small Oregon town not unlike the one in North Carolina where they grew up together,” according to The Daily Beast.

The shooter at UCC killed nine people and injured several others. He was later killed in a shootout with police. Four guns believed to belong to the suspect were reportedly recovered at the scene.

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