Chris Mintz had run through campus trying to warn other students that a gunman had opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Oregon when, unwittingly, he came face-to-face with the killer.
After discovering wounded victims, Mintz had just yelled for someone to tell the police where they were when the gunman, Christopher Harper-Mercer, opened a classroom door and shot Mintz nonchalantly, "like he was playing a video game," Mintz said in a post on his Facebook page this week.
"The shots knocked me to the ground and felt like a truck hit me," Mintz, 30, wrote in his Friday account of the Oct. 1 shooting that left nine dead, plus the shooter, and another nine injured. "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.'"
Mintz, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, was shot five times. He has been publicly hailed as a hero after some media accounts described his actions as rushing the shooter.
"I never claimed to be a hero," Mintz wrote in a follow-up post Saturday. "I'm just a regular guy."
After the gunman first shot him outside the classroom, Mintz said, he curled into a fetal position. The gunman shot Mintz's finger and blamed him for calling the police, Mintz said, adding that he told the gunman, "I didn't call the cops man, they were already on the way."
The gunman then tried to shoot Mintz's phone, wrote Mintz, who said he then told the gunman, "It's my kid's birthday, man."
His son, Tyrik, had just turned 6.
The gunman then point his gun at Mintz's face but didn't fire, then retreated into the classroom.
"I'm still confused at why he didn't shoot me again," Mintz wrote.
Mintz described the pain as feeling like a "bomb going off" in his body every time he tried to move. He felt like he "laid there for days" until the first police officer arrived in what looked like a blue polo shirt, Mintz wrote.
Officers arrived in fewer than 10 minutes after getting a report of a shooting and traded gunfire with the shooter.
After the gunfire stopped -- officials later said the gunman killed himself after being wounded by police -- two officers "came up upon me but [were] unaware if I was the shooter and communicated back and forth between each other," Mintz wrote.
Students soon came out of the classroom, some covered in blood. One of Mintz's friends recognized him and knelt next to him, traumatized and crying, Mintz said. She tried to pray with him.
"It's my son's birthday," Mintz said he told her. "Please call my son's mom and tell her I can't pick him up from school today.'"
Mintz said he soon saw another one of his friends -- an EMT who responded to the scene.
"Hey buddy," Mintz said he told his friend, who responded with a casual, "Hey."
"When I saw him, I KNEW WE WERE ALL GOING TO BE OK," Mintz wrote, in all capital letters.
Mintz said he was "recovering well" after describing where he was shot: "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.)"
However, Mintz was upset by conspiracy theorists who -- as with many mass shootings in recent years -- have claimed that
"Just because you don't believe it's real doesn't mean it didn't happen," Mintz wrote in a follow-up post Saturday. "Some of those that passed were my friends I loved them and your disrespect for them sickens me, instead of spewing your hate bring yourself to our community and see for yourself you don't believe I am real come talk to me face to face."
"I never asked to be apart of this," Mintz continued. "I just did what I could to help."
Mintz said he is no hero, "just a regular guy."
"I shouldn't have to even make this post," he concluded, "but I'm tired of so many disrespecting the ones lost and injured."
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