Chris Mintz, a 30-year-old Army veteran, found himself in a gun-free zone during yesterday’s attack on students at Umpqua College, but he took the fight to the shooter anyway. According to news reports, he was shot SEVEN times while trying to defend his fellow students and only quit when both legs were broken. Talk about ARMY STRONG.According to the Daily Mail, his cousin Derek Bourgeois said ‘There was no way he was going to stand around and watch something this horrific happen.’
Bourgeois, who lives in North Carolina, said no vital organs were hit when Mintz was shot multiple times, but he is expected to recover after spending most of Thursday in surgery.According to his family, both of his legs are broken and he will have to learn to walk again.
Mintz’s aunt Sheila Brown told NBC News ‘We were told he did heroic things to protect some people.’ She said Mintz was shot in the back, abdomen and hands. ‘He was on the wrestling team and he’s done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically.’
Mintz, originally from Randleman, North Carolina, served 10 years in the Army and had just recently started college, his aunt said. Bourgeois said he and Mintz had joined the Army together after graduating high school.Bourgeois was stationed in Fort Bragg in North Carolina while his cousin was sent to Fort Lewis in Washington.
After getting out of the Army, Bourgeois said his cousin began cage-fighting, but was working at an YMCA while he enrolled at the community college in Roseburg with the goal of becoming a fitness coach when he left.
According to his family, he moved to Oregon to help raise his son. And he had started the day yesterday by wishing his six-year-old son Tyrik ‘happy birthday’ on Facebook before headed to the community college where things took a tragic turn.
According to the Daily Beast, he was heard saying ‘It’s my son’s birthday’ as he lay wounded at the school.
Chris, we thank you and all our veterans for your sacrifices and for your vigilance in protecting Americans-both HERE and abroad! We wish you a speedy recovery! This is what makes our country great. And Chris is but one of many thousands of men and women in uniform — military and law enforcement — willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. We need this bit of good news in the midst of the darkness. We need to remember THIS is the true American spirit.