ROSEBURG, Ore. — Chris Mintz has been named Oregon’s 2015 “Person of the Year,” according to OregonLive.com.
The Randleman native made headlines last year after running into a community college classroom where a gunman shot and killed nine people.
Mintz, 30, was shot several times while trying to stop the Umpqua Community College gunman, Christopher Harper-Mercer, on the school’s Roseburg campus on Oct. 1.
The Oregonian/OregonLive newspaper asked readers in December to choose among 25 candidates for Oregon’s Person of the Year. Mintz won with nearly 30 percent of more than 6,000 votes.
When the shooting broke out, Mintz, a former high school football player in Randleman, tried to save the lives of others.
“Tries to block the door to keep the gunman from coming in,” his aunt, Wanda Mintz, previously told FOX8. “Gets shot three times. Hits the floor. Looks up at the gunman and says, ‘It’s my son’s birthday today.’”
The gunman shot Mintz again, breaking both his legs, according to family. Mintz was in the hospital for about a week and has since been released.
Mintz served as an infantryman from 2004 to 2007, reaching the rank of specialist, according to the Army. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
Mintz was also a student and worked at the local YMCA. He graduated from Randleman High School in 2003 and now lives in Oregon.
He was in his first week back to school during the shooting. Mintz’s friends said he “just wants to blend in” and believes the victims should get the attention, according to the paper.
The 26-year-old gunman killed nine people during the rampage before killing himself.