(FOX News)- An Army veteran in his first week of classes at the Oregon community college where at least nine people were killed in a mass shooting Thursday was seriously wounded as he tried to prevent the gunman from entering a classroom, family members told multiple media outlets.
The Daily Beast reported that Chris Mintz, 30, had enrolled at Umpqua Community College with the goal of becoming a fitness trainer. Prior to that, Mintz had served in the Army for over a decade after graduating from his North Carolina high school in 2003. He has one son, Tyrik, who turned six years old on Thursday.
Relatives said Mintz told them that he tried to keep 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer from entering the classroom to carry out his evil plan to kill as many people as possible.
Mintz's aunt, Wanda, told Q13Fox that her nephew tried to block the door, but was shot three times by Harper-Mercer. She added that after Mintz hit the floor, he looked at the gunman and said, "It's my son's birthday, it's my son's birthday." The gunman then shot him two more times.
Mintz family has set up a GoFundMe Page. They raised more then their $10,000 goal in a single hour. In one day, they raised more than $645,000.