When a shooter opened fire at Umpqua Community College on Thursday, killing multiple people and injuring many others, Chris Mintz ran to help — a selfless act his aunt called “second nature” for him.
Yana Mintz told BuzzFeed News that her nephew heard a woman yelling for help when the gunfire started. Mintz charged toward the shooter and in the process was shot five to seven times, said Yana, who is in contact with Mintz's father.
He was struck in the back, abdomen, and hands and broke both of his legs, she said.
“He did what he had to do to help,” Yana said. “I’m sure he didn’t even think twice about it.”
Mintz returned to college after serving in the Army, Yana said.
Both Yana and another cousin told BuzzFeed News that Mintz served in Afghanistan. The Army's records, though, say he has no "deployments" but he does have a National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He was trained at Fort Benning in Georgia and served from May 2004 to March 2007, Army records show.
He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, the Army said.
Mintz's cousin started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the costs of physical therapy. "While Chris is not the type of person to ask for it, he is going to need all of the help he can get while he recovers," the page says.
The day of the shooting was also Mintz’s son’s sixth birthday, Yana said. “His world is his son,” she said.
Mintz is in stable condition and alert, Yana said, adding that her brother — Mintz’s father — is on his way to Oregon to be by Mintz’s side.
“My brother raised him right,” she said.
Yana said that her nephew was physically able to do what he did because he’s a “health nut” who takes good care of his body. He is a former wrestler and also has done cage-fighting.
“Chris showed America he stands up for what’s right in the world,” Yana said. “I’m sure he would do it again if he had to.”
On October 7, Mintz was released from the hospital, KAIT8 reported.
Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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