Mintz—a 30-year-old U.S. army veteran and student at the Roseburg, Ore., school who many have hailed as a “hero”—writes that Oct. 1 “started so normal.” He met up with a friend for coffee and even joked about ditching the writing class, where he would later find himself once the shooting broke out:
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.
Making sure his fellow students were able to evacuate the classroom is one of many instances in Mintz’s account where he places the safety of others over his own. He also describes alerting students in the library of the shooting and telling a young woman arriving on campus that “you [can’t] be here...you need to leave.”
One of the most disturbing parts of Mintz’s testimony is when he recounts his face-to-face run-in with the shooter, a 26-year-old UCC student who Mintz says “showed no emotion” as if he “was playing a video game”:
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.
Mintz adds that he was shot five times: once in each leg, once in the abdomen, once in the shoulder blade, and once in a finger on his left hand. He was one of five people wounded in the incident. Nine people—eight students and one professor—were killed by the shooter, who authorities say took his own life.
Christ Mintz ends the Facebook post by thanking the police, EMTs, and hospital workers. “THEY are the real [heroes],” he says. “[T]hey saved us.”