FOXNews.com - An Army veteran who bravely blocked the door as the Oregon gunman barged into a community college classroom Thursday, then took at least five bullets while pleading that it was his young son's birthday, is recovering - and being hailed as a hero, according to his family.
Chris Mintz, 30, a North Carolina native who had moved to the Roseburg, Ore., area and is studying at Umpqua Community College to become a fitness trainer, hurled himself against the door in an effort to stop the gunman, identified as Christopher Harper Mercer, from entering. When Mercer, who killed at least nine people and injured at least seven before being killed by police, shot his way inside, hitting Mintz at least three time, the former soldier called out that it was his son Tyrek's sixth birthday, according to Mintz's aunt. His plea was rewarded with two more shots, Wanda Mintz told The Daily Beast.
"He could have very easily died," Wanda Mintz said. "I really think that if he wasn't such a strong, young guy, he may have died."
Mintz was hit in the abdomen, upper back, left hand, and once in each leg. An orthopedic surgeon also determined that both Mintz's legs were broken, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.