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Oregon shooting: Hero veteran Chris Mintz shot multiple times trying to save his classmates

By Valerie Edwards

An army veteran and student at Umpqua Community College is being held a hero for blocking a gunman and protecting his classmates.

Chris Mintz came face-to-face with Christopher Harper Mercer, 26, who killed at least nine people at the school in Roseburg.

The brave actions of the 30-year-old prevented many more deaths from happening, CBS News reported.

Chris's family told CBS that he didn't run away from the gunfire, instead he tried to protect his classmates.

He went to class that day thinking about celebrating his son's sixth birthday and never imagined what he would encounter.

In an attempt to stop the gunman, he blocked the doorway and was shot three times and then another two times as he called out for his son.

Chris survived and none of his vital organs were hit, but he spent most of Thursday in surgery.

His cousin Ariana Earnhardt told CBS: "His vital signs are okay. 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."

Chris was shot in the back, abdomen and hands. He's also suffering from two broken legs.

Originally from Randleman, North Carolina, Chris joined the Army after graduating from high school and served about ten years. He moved to Oregon after leaving the Army and dabbled in martial arts while working at a local YMCA.

He enrolled in Umpqua Community College with the hope of gaining a degree as a personal trainer.

Further reading:

Oregon shooting: England-born gunman Chris Harper-Mercer 'supported the IRA'

Weapons found at home of Oregon college gunman Chris Harper-Mercer

Obama says US 'has become numb' to mass shootings 

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