Chris Mintz Gives Firsthand Account of Umpqua Community College Shooting

October 19th 2015

Laura Donovan

Umpqua Community College student and Army veteran Chris Mintz just released a statement on Facebook about his school's horrific October shooting, which left 10 dead (including the gunman), multiple people injured, including Mintz who suffered seven gunshot wounds.

Mintz, who has been called a hero for rushing around campus to warn others about the shooting and confronting the shooter himself, recently shared a chilling account of what happened that day. In a Facebook post, Mintz explains he wanted to post his remarks on social media, so no outlet could alter his words in any way.


10/15/2015I want to first thank everyone who has stepped up to help the families involved at UCC. All the support I...

Posted by Chris Mintz on Friday, October 16, 2015


The student opens the statement by revealing that he had joked to a friend about skipping class on October 1, 2015—the day of the shooting. Mintz ultimately decided to go to class, and it was in his writing 121 course that the chaos began. He heard a bunch of yelling from the other room before gunshots went off. Mintz wrote that it sounded like "firecrackers."

"[W]e all got up and took off out of the classroom and I stopped and held the door open and waited for everyone to leave safely," he wrote. "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 [I'd] do it."

Mintz wrote that he started running through the aisles and screaming for people to get out. Outside the library, he noticed a woman showing up to school and he told her “you cant be here” and “there’s somebody shooting, you need to leave.” Mintz went on to look through a glass panel on a classroom door, noticing a woman's foot in the door.

"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 wrote.

He put his back against the door shortly before coming face to face with the shooter.

"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," Mintz wrote. "[H]e 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.'"

According to the statement, the shooter tried to shoot Mintz's phone until Mintz said, "It's my kid's birthday, man."

"[H]e 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. 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."

Mintz was ultimately rescued by officers and a first responder who is also friends with Mintz.

"An EMT I am friends with was one of the first responders on the scene," he wrote. "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."


This is the 15th time Pres. Obama has made a statement on mass shootings during his presidency.

Posted by ATTN: on Thursday, October 1, 2015


Mintz went on to share a follow-up post that seemed to indicate he's faced some skeptics and doubters since the shooting took place:


People are so hateful just because you don't believe it's real doesn't mean it didn't happen, some of those that passed...

Posted by Chris Mintz on Saturday, October 17, 2015


Mintz wrote:

"People are so hateful just because you don't believe it's real doesn't mean it didn't happen, 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 (sic) of this I just did what I could to help as well as I never claimed to be a hero I'm just a regular guy. I shouldn't have to even make this post, but I'm tired of so many disrespecting the ones lost and injured."

After the shooting, this photo of Mintz recovering in the hospital went viral on social media:


"We were told he did heroic things to protect some people," Mintz's aunt Sheila Brown told NBC News at the time. "He was on the wrestling team and and he's done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically."

Mintz's full statement is here.