Approximately two weeks ago, Chris Mintz found himself in a war-like situation with the domestic terrorist, Christopher Mercer. Having taken five shots, Mintz gives a graphic replay of what happened at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College from his perspective.
— Palos Verdes Post (@PalosVerdesPost) October 6, 2015
First off, some have been saying that Christopher Mercer was just a “lone-shooter” and “troubled individual,” while not calling him by the title of a domestic terrorist. The definition of a domestic terrorist comes directly from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the writer.
“One particularly insidious concern that touches all forms of domestic extremism is the lone offender — a single individual driven to hateful attacks based on a particular set of beliefs without a larger group’s knowledge or support. In some cases, these lone offenders may have tried to join a group but were kicked out for being too radical or simply left the group because they felt it wasn’t extreme or violent enough.”
“All forms of domestic extremism” applies to the likes of James Eagan Holmes, Dylan Roof, Huan Yun Xiang, Seung-Hui Cho and so on. This type of individual is what Chris Mintz — as well as so many unfortunate others — had to encounter weeks ago. On October 16, the Army veteran took to Facebook to give a personal statement. He did not want anything misquoted by any media source, so to avoid such a mistake, he gave the account, himself on his own profile page. After warning that it would be a graphic account, the Army veteran went right into his experience with that day. Chris Mintz expressed that it was just a normal, college-like day. Everything was happening as it usually did. At the time, he was in his Writing 121 class, and that was when he heard the commotion through the wall in the next class over.
His statement is as follows.
“We were sitting in class, and there was a bunch of yelling that started in the other room, my teacher walked up to the door that connected our classroom and asked if everyone was ok, no one could tell what the yelling was. The teacher knocked on the door and there were gunshots that sounded like firecrackers going off. I sat in the front middle of the class, so we all got up and took off out of the classroom and I stopped and held the door open and waited or everyone to leave safely.”
After an instructor brought it to the students’ attentions, Mintz volunteered to tell people inside the library since they were not able to hear what was happening. The veteran was telling everyone within the facility, while opening emergency exits in an attempt to sound the alarm or bring awareness to the situation. But, he did not stop at the library. Throughout campus, he was warning everyone he could.
“I ran back towards Snyder and people across campus were walking around like nothing was going on, so I continued yelling at them to get out of there to leave (I was at the end of Snyder hall) I saw a young girl who seemed to just be showing up to school and I yelled at her “you cant be here” “there’s somebody shooting, you need to leave.” Her face, it changed, she seemed so scared.”
After this, Army vet Mintz began to go back toward the direction of the classroom. Upon arrival, he came to a horrifically dark sight. Various students were covered in blood, though still alive. He noticed one female student screaming and motioned for her to try to stay quiet. Though he did not see the shooter, he knew he responsibly had to act. Once Mintz heard police sirens, he yelled to someone across the street and told them to tell the officers of their location. However, the person could not hear him clearly, and Chris ended up giving away his position to the shooter by repeating himself.
“All of a sudden, the shooter opened the classroom door beside the door to my left, he leaned half of his torso out and started shooting as I turned toward him. He had a black shirt on, a shaved head, was tan and wearing glasses, he was so nonchalant through it all, like he was playing a video game and showed no emotion.”
After the first shots had connected, Mintz said they knocked him to the ground and felt as if a truck had hit him. Then, Mercer fired off another shot to connect with Mintz’s finger. And Chris recalls the shooter saying, at that point, “That’s what you get for calling the cops.” Next, Chris says that the shooter leaned out of the door a bit further to attempt to shoot his phone. However, Mintz anxiously expressed that it was his child’s birthday that day. That is when the shooter pointed the gun at the veteran’s face…but retreated to the classroom.
“I’m still confused at why he didn’t shoot me again. I tried to push myself back against the classroom door but I couldn’t move at all. My legs felt like ice, like they didn’t exist, until I tried to move. When I moved pain shot through me like a bomb going off. I couldn’t move, his shots knocked me down onto my right hip, I tried to use my right hand to push myself. I started to lose track of time but it felt like I laid there for days.”
Chris goes on to mention that, when police officers arrived at the location, he heard glass breaking within the classroom. He could not tell if the police were shooting into the room or if Mercer was firing at the officers. However, he does account that the officers was not aware that he was a victim and not the suspect, until Mintz pointed out that he had been shot — and that Christopher was still in the classroom. After the hostages escaped the classroom, Mintz recalls as follows.
“A friend came out of the classroom and kneeled down beside me, traumatized and crying, I think she tried to pray with me, the only thing I could say was ‘its my son’s birthday’…’please call my sons mom and tell her, I can’t pick him up from school today’.”
According to New York Times, the incident took place in Classroom 15. Survivors gave brief statements about what had happened as well. Tracy Heu remembers the domestic terrorist ordering all the students to the floor, and one of them was a disabled woman named Sarena Dawn Moore. He told her that she needed to climb back into her chair. Yet, while she was climbing, he shot her. This was before he started shooting students due to their religious responses. Likewise, because of this, Heu does not believe his actions were religiously-based.
Nevertheless, to digress, the Army veteran noted that he was very hesitant to make his statement before now, because he knew it would cause more grief to those whom have already suffered.
What do you think about his account? As it seems, Mintz has been getting some disrespectful comments about the ordeal. On October 17, he addressed them in the following post.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, below.
[Images Courtesy of Chris Mintz/Facebook]