ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — Chris Mintz, an Oregon college student celebrated as a hero for running toward danger while a gunman opened fire at Umpqua Community College, says the shooter showed no emotion as he shot Mintz five times.
Mintz shared his story in a lengthy statement posted Friday night on Facebook. He describes his experiences in excruciating detail, from the normalcy of the morning, through the excruciating pain of being shot until the moment his friend, a medic, arrived.
“He was so nonchalant through it all, like he was playing a video game and showed no emotion,” Mintz wrote of the shooter. “The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me.”
Mintz wrote that he hesitated to share his account out of fear that it would be too painful for some people to read, and he offered an apology to anyone negatively affected.
He says the first responders and hospital workers are “the real heroes, they saved us.” Since the story of Mintz’s bravery became public, an online campaign has raised more than $800,000 to help with medical bills and his expenses while he recovers.
On Oct. 1, Mintz was in an adjacent classroom in Snyder Hall when everyone heard yelling. When they heard gunfire, Mintz held the door as everyone fled.
“We all took off running down the breezeway toward the library, a boy and I collided while running because of the chaos and it knocked me to the ground. A counselor kept screaming that someone needed to tell the people in the library, and I told her id do it,” Mintz wrote.
He ran through the library to notify people of the shooter, then burst through an emergency exit and ran back toward Snyder.
“I saw a young girl who seemed to just be showing up to school and I yelled at her ‘you cant be here’ ‘there’s somebody shooting, you need to leave,’” Mintz wrote. “Her face, it changed, she seemed so scared.”
Not knowing where the shooter was, he reached Snyder and peered for the glass panel of a classroom door, he wrote, and saw a woman’s foot wedged in the door. A man hiding behind a car startled him, warning him he’d get shot.
“I could only see one of the students through the door, she was screaming and yelling and covered in blood, I motioned my finger over my mouth communicating to be quiet and motioned both my hands down for them to stay down (at the time I didn’t know the classroom was full of people, I thought it was only the two of them.)”
He put his back against the door and waited, he wrote, as he heard sirens approaching.
Suddenly, he wrote, the shooter opened a classroom door, leaned half his torso out and started shooting. After Mintz fell to the ground, he was shot again in the finger, and the shooter said, “That’s what you get for calling the cops.”
“I laid there, in a fetal position unable to move and responded ‘I didn’t call the cops man, they were already on the way.’ He leaned further out of the classroom and tried to shoot my phone, I yelled “its my kids birthday man” he pointed the gun right at my face and then he retreated back into the class,” Mintz wrote. “I’m still confused at why he didn’t shoot me again.”
Mintz tried to push himself into the classroom but he couldn’t move, he wrote.
“My legs felt like ice, like they didn’t exist, until I tried to move. When I moved pain shot through me like a bomb going off. “
After what felt like days, he wrote, an officer arrived and tried to sort out whether Mintz was the shooter.
“A friend came out of the classroom and kneeled down beside me, traumatized and crying, I think she tried to pray with me, the only thing I could say was ‘its my son’s birthday’ ‘please call my sons mom and tell her, I can’t pick him up from school today,’” Mintz wrote.
And then his friend, an emergency medical technician, arrived, one of the first responders on scene.
“When I saw him,” Mintz wrote, “I KNEW WE WERE ALL GOING TO BE OK.”