When Chris Harper Mercer walked onto the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon earlier this month, his classmates and teachers had no idea of the horror that was about to unfold. Once the massacre was over, nine people were left dead, but that number could have been higher if it wasn’t for one student and former military veteran.
Mercer opened fire on Oct. 1, and took the lives of nine classmates, then killing himself before the police were able to get to him. During the incident, Chris Mintz held the door open for other students to escape, while tackling Mercer to the ground in an act of courage to prevent further damage from taking place. For the first time since the tragedy, Mintz opened about in detail about the shooting on Facebook, as reported by USA Today on Oct. 17.
“The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me,” Mintz wrote in a Facebook post published on Thursday. After being shot five times and left with two broken legs, Mintz has surprised many by pulling through and being put on the road to recovery. “He shot me again while I was on the ground and hit my finger,” he continued, noting that Mercer turned to him and said, ‘That’s what you get for calling the cops.'”
“He leaned further out of the classroom and tried to shoot my phone…I yelled ‘It’s my kid’s 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.”
With all that was going on, Mintz was still thinking about his son, turning to a classmate, saying, “It’s my son’s birthday, please call my son’s mom and tell her I can’t pick him up from school today.” Mintz detailed the start of the shooting, which occurred while he was in his writing class. According to Mintz, a counselor started to scream, looking for someone to go to the library to let others know what was going on.
“I ran in and told everyone they needed to leave and go to the other side of the campus…I ran back towards Snyder (Hall) and people across campus were walking around like nothing was going on,” Mintz wrote in detail. “I saw a young girl who seemed to just be showing up to school and I yelled at her, ‘You can’t be here, there’s somebody shooting, you need to leave.’ Her face, it changed, she seemed so scared.”
Mintz elaborated further, detailing that the bullets pierced his leg, resulting in two broken fibulas and a broken tibia. Mintz was also struck through his abdomen, and shoulder blade, but is expected to make a full recovery. In regards to him being a hero, Mintz writes that that label should be reserved for the first-responders and doctors who helped that day, saying, “They saved us.”