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Ex-wrestler saves lives in Oregon mass shooting

Chris Mintz, college student, father, Army veteran and former wrestler, took seven bullets and broke both of his legs trying to save his fellow students in the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon Thursday that left nine victims dead, according to multiple media reports.

Chris Mintz
The Washington Post reported when the gunman, 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, approached the Snyder Hall classroom where Mintz and fellow students were located, the 10-year Army infantryman instructed his classmates to take cover before telling the shooter, "You're not getting by me." The gunman then opened fire on Mintz, but then moved on.

Mintz suffered gunshot wounds to his upper back, abdomen, left hand and upper and lower leg, according to a Facebook post by Jayme Skinner, the mother of Mintz's son, who was marking his sixth birthday on the day of the shooting. Mintz was recovering Friday after 6 ½ hours of surgery performed on Thursday. A NPR report Saturday morning said that Mintz was alert, in stable condition, and wishing that others would focus their attention on the families of those who lost loved ones.

Mintz's aunt, Sheila Brown, gave credit to her nephew's combat sports background for what he did to save others at the community college in Roseburg in southwestern Oregon.

"He was on the wrestling team and he's done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically," Brown told NBC News Friday.

HollywoodLife.com reported that Mintz, a North Carolina native who had just started classes at UCC this fall, had wrestled in high school before joining the Army in 2003.

According to the mixed martial arts website Sherdog.com, Mintz, 30, had two amateur fights. He won his first by submission (armbar) over John Dennis in the second round of their November 2011 bout ... but in his second match was knocked out in the opening seconds by Ron Schroter in September 2012.

A GoFundMe.com page has been established to help Mintz with his recovery, provide care for his autistic son, and other expenses. As of Saturday morning, donations totaled over $579,000.

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