Law enforcement officials in Roseburg, Oregon, are asking people to focus not on the gunman, but on the victims and the heroes.
One such hero used to live in Tacoma and was shot multiple times while running at the gunman.
Chris Mintz, 30, is a veteran who lived in Tacoma about 10 years ago while stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, according to Mintz’s brother.
Mintz, who served in the Army from March 2004 to March 2007, spent most of that time in JBLM’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, officials said Friday.
He received an administrative discharge and a reduction in rank before leaving the Army. The Army did not describe the incident that led to his administrative discharge.
Mintz is a student at Umpqua Community College, taking classes to become a personal trainer, according to his brother.
Mintz told his family that on Thursday — his 6-year-old son’s birthday — he heard gunshots from another classroom.
When the gunman moved to Mintz’s classroom, he was shot several times as he charged and tried to block a door to keep the shooter from coming in.
Then, he hit the floor, looked up at the gunman, and told him it was his son’s birthday, at which point the gunman shot two more times.
Mintz survived seven gunshots, although he has two broken bones and a lot of rehabilitation ahead of him.
Mintz is from North Carolina and moved to Oregon after getting out of the Army. His brother told a news website Mintz had been stationed at JBLM and Fort Bragg.
His family members in North Carolina said they weren’t surprised that Mintz charged at the shooter.
One simply said, “Sounds like something he’d do.”
The News Tribune contributed to this report.