Oregon 'hero' Chris Mintz blocked attacker, saved classmates

Friends describe him as a devoted father and workout fiend

Army veteran and father Chris Mintz is being called a "hero" for his actions during the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College last Thursday.

A student witness told ABC News that Mintz first went to the library and "pulled all the alarms" and told people to run. Then Mintz "actually ran back towards the building where the shooting was. And he ran back into the building."

Mintz ran at the gunman and attempted to block the door to a classroom. When the attacker entered, he shot Mintz three times. Mintz then told the gunman, "It's my son's birthday today," and the attacker shot him twice more.

Mintz now has two broken legs and will need to relearn to walk, but his family says that he is stable and recovering.

A crowdfunding campaign launched by Mintz' cousin to help cover his medical expenses quickly gained attention on social media and raised more than $200,000 in just five hours.

In an interview with ABC News Friday, Mintz' first concern was still for his fellow classmates.

"I just hope that everyone else is OK," he said.

Mintz was known for being a devoted father to his son, Tyrik, who has autism. Friends also describe him as a workout fanatic—he was studying to become a physical therapist at Umpqua.

"He is one tough dude and he will do just fine," Tyrik's mother posted on Facebook Thursday. "Today he became a hero" (Chappell, "The Two-Way," NPR, 10/2; Theen, The Oregonian/OregonLive, 10/2 [1]; Theen, The Oregonian/OregonLive, 10/2 [2]).

Thoughts on the story? Tweet us at @eab_daily and let us know.


Next in Today's Briefing

Why more colleges are allowing dogs, pigs, and even tarantulas on campus

Next Briefing

  • Manage Your Events
  • Saved webpages and searches
  • Manage your subscriptions
  • Update personal information
  • Invite a colleague