An army veteran was hailed a hero for charging the gunman during a mass shooting at a college in Oregon, before being shot despite pleading that it was his son's birthday..
Chris Mintz, 30, who was studying to become a fitness trainer at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, sprung into action Thursday when the shooting began, urging people to flee and running toward the building where the killings were taking place, his family and witnesses said.
Mintz tried to prevent the gunman -- widely identified as Chris Harper Mercer, 26 -- from entering a classroom by throwing his weight against the door.
But the gunman managed to blast his way in and shot Mintz seven times, ignoring pleas that it was his son Tirek's sixth birthday.
"He told him, 'please don't do this, it's my son's birthday today'," Mintz's cousin Ariana Earnhardt told CNN.
The family said that Mintz was shot in the back, abdomen and left hand and suffered two broken legs.
"He's going to have to learn to walk again," Earnhardt said. "But he walked away with his life, and that's more than so many other people did."
A GoFundMe campaign set up by the family to help with Mintz's rehabilitation had raised more than $450,000 by late Friday.
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