Dad Risks Life in Oregon Shooting, but Refuses to Die on Son's Birthday

While one man heartlessly shot innocent people at Oregon's Umpqua Community College, another man risked his life trying to protect those people. Army vet and father Chris Mintz was shot seven times charging at shooter Chris Harper Mercer. "It's my son's sixth birthday, it's my son's sixth birthday," he moaned as he laid wounded.

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Mintz was shot in his back, abdomen, and hands, and he broke both of his legs (it's not yet known how). According to his aunt, Wanda Mintz, the former football player and wrestler heard gunshots in another classroom and tried to keep the shooter from entering his classroom.

And Mintz did it knowing his actions could mean this was the last year he would celebrate the birthday of his 6-year-old son, Tyrik.

Thankfully Mintz survived. He is expected to recover, though he will have to learn to walk again. One lucky little boy will get to keep his hero father. For all we know, Mintz may have saved the lives of other people's sons and daughters.

Knowing that Mintz is a dad makes his act so much more touching. It wasn't just his life on the line, but his relationship with his son, too. I imagine all he could think about in the moment was protecting the people in the room with him. It was probably partly his training as a soldier, but also maybe fatherly instinct. 

But oh his heartache after he was shot, realizing this was all happening on his son's birthday. Did he wonder if he would ever see Tyrik again? Would his sacrifice be worth it?

I'm thinking about Mintz throwing his physical body to protect others. What are we doing to prevent more shootings? What are we willing to sacrifice? To me, this dad's act of heroism is a rebuke against our collective apathy. Are we standing by as the next killer collects his guns and prepares for his assault on more innocent people? If we could stop him, what would we do?

 

Image via John R. Knicely/Twitter

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