Roseburg, Ore. — The Umpqua Community College student hailed a hero in the October 1st campus shooting is breaking his silence.
For the first time Chris Mintz is sharing what happened within the classroom of Snyder Hall, and how he jumped into action to help those he could.
He posted on his facebook page Friday evening thanking all those for their support and apologizing if his words upset those who read them. The veteran described his injuries, saying he was shot 5 times in his legs, abdomen, shoulder, and finger.
The post reads as follows:
“I want to first thank everyone who has stepped up to help the families involved at UCC. All the support I have received is overwhelming and I could never repay them. I’m about to give my statement of how I remember that day, please be cautious because it may be graphic. I am releasing my statement on facebook because I’m not doing this for publicity and I don’t want any media outlet to alter it in anyway. This isn’t about politics, this isn’t about me, this is about a community healing. I am so happy with how the community has bonded and supported everyone during this healing.
It started so normal, the day that is. Work went well and I had plans for coffee with a friend before school. I ironically made a comment to my friend that I should skip class and my friend told me I couldn’t skip, off to school I went. I was in my writing 121 class and it was a typical day at UCC, the teacher was going over assignments, making the class laugh, like she had done all week. We were sitting in class, and there was a bunch of yelling that started in the other room, my teacher walked up to the door that connected our classroom and asked if everyone was ok, no one could tell what the yelling was. The teacher knocked on the door and there were gunshots that sounded like firecrackers going off. I sat in the front middle of the class, so we all got up and took off out of the classroom and I stopped and held the door open and waited or everyone to leave safely. 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. I ran in and told everyone they needed to leave and go to the other side of the campus, I ran through the book isles while yelling and pushed the emergency exits closest to registration open and ran through them and back down towards Snyder hall. I ran back towards Snyder and people across campus were walking around like nothing was going on, so I continued yelling at them to get out of there to leave(I was at the end of Snyder hall) 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.” Her face, it changed, she seemed so scared. This is when I started making my way towards the classroom, I was walking slower, but as fast as a could because I didn’t know where he was. I got to a classroom and looked into the door because it had a glass slate, a guy that was further away and hiding behind cars startled me and yelled “don’t man, hes going to shoot you man.” I stepped back a little bit and noticed a ladies foot wedged in the door(I was told later that this was Kim) there was so much blood and it was so dark. I nudged the door closed, 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.) I put my back up against the door and was just waiting, I heard the sirens coming down and yelled to the guy in the parking lot “you need to go get the cops” “tell them where we’re at” he couldnt hear me so I had to repeat it a few times. All of a sudden, the shooter opened the classroom door beside the door to my left, he leaned half of his torso out and started shooting as I turned toward him. He had a black shirt on, a shaved head, was tan and wearing glasses, he was so nonchalant through it all, like he was playing a video game and showed no emotion. The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me. He shot me again while I was on the ground and hit my finger, and said “that’s what you get for calling the cops” and 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. I’m still confused at why he didn’t shoot me again. I tried to push myself back against the classroom door but I couldn’t move at all. 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. I couldn’t move, his shots knocked me down onto my right hip, I tried to use my right hand to push myself. I started to lose track of time but it felt like I laid there for days. I saw the first officer appear, coming towards me, from the science building, I remember him wearing a blue polo type shirt. I heard glass start to fall in the classroom but couldn’t tell if shots were going in from the officers or out from the shooter. Then the gun fire just stopped, and a second police officer crested the rock wall near the bathroom. They came up upon me but was unaware if I was the shooter and communicated back and forth between each other. I told them “he shot me” “hes in that classroom, but I don’t know if he’s down” I don’t recall a lot after that, I answered questions and stayed awake. More officers arrived in tactical gear. While still laying there, some students ran out of the classroom, some covered in blood. I guess my feet were close enough to the door, eventually they had to move me because the door kept opening and hitting my legs. 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.” Officers made her leave and an officer kneeled behind me and said “everything is going to be ok” him and another officer moved me away from the door. An EMT I am friends with was one of the first responders on the scene. I looked up and saw him walk up to the classroom door and said “hey buddy” he looked at me and responded “hey.” When I saw him, I KNEW WE WERE ALL GOING TO BE OK.
I want to apologize to any person, family, or anyone effected if this statement hurts them. I have hesitated to put it out for that reason. This is how I remember it. I knew this would be a painful piece for a lot of people, and it bothers me to bring the pain to others.
I have to thank all the people who responded and everyone in the hospitals. THEY are the real heros, they saved us.
I was shot five times, once in the left leg(breaking my femur) once in the right leg(breaking my tibia and fibula) once in the abdomen that exited my right hip, once at the top of my shoulder blade(it is still in my back, broke off part of my scapula and was about an inch from my aeorta) and finally my left finger(shattering the mid-joint of my ring finger.) Although I am not completely sure, I believe the caliber was a 38.
I am recovering well and thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. -Chris Mintz”
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