Umpqua Shooting Victims' Families Come Forward To Speak About Their Loved Ones
On Thursday, a 26-year-old man opened fire at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., leaving at least nine people dead and seven wounded. Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin confirmed on Thursday afternoon that the shooter was also dead. The names of the victims have not yet been released — Hanlin said that victims would not be identified until all of their families were notified, which could take 24 to 48 hours from the time of the shooting — but family members of wounded UCC students came forward to celebrate their relatives' heroic actions and relay their accounts of what took place. As of Friday morning, most of the victims had not been named. (Update: The victims' names were released Friday night: Lucero Alcaraz, 19; Treven Taylor Anspach, 20; Rebecka Ann Carnes, 18; Quinn Glen Cooper, 18;Kim Saltmarsh Dietz, 59; Lucas Eibel, 18; Jason Dale Johnson, 33;Lawrence Levine, 67 (assistant professor); Sarena Dawn Moore, 44.)
Army veteran Chris Mintz was among those wounded during the shooting. According to his family, he charged toward the gunman instead of running away from the gunfire, because he wanted to protect his classmates. His aunt, Wanda Mintz, described her nephew's actions to CBS: "Tries to block the door to keep the gunman from coming in, gets shot three times, hits the floor, looks up at gunman and says, 'it's my son's birthday today,' gets shot two more times."
Ariana Earnhardt, a cousin of Chris Mintz, said that despite his injuries, Mintz was, at least, alive.
His vital signs are okay. He's going to have to learn to walk again but he walked away with his life and that's more than so many other people did.
Another student, 18-year-old Anastasia Boylan, was hit in the back by a bullet that then traveled down her spine. Before going into spinal surgery, Boylan gave her parents an account of what took place. Boylan explained that the gunman had entered her classroom firing, and then shot the professor after saying that he had "been waiting to do this for years."
When everyone in the classroom dropped to the ground, Boylan said that the shooter asked the Christians in the room to stand up. "And they would stand up and he said, 'Good, because you're a Christian, you're going to see God in just about one second,'" Boylan's father, Stacy, told CNN. "And then he shot and killed them."
Boylan's mother said that her daughter survived by pretending to be dead when the gunman called out to her, "Hey you, blond woman."
A relief fund has been established to help the victims of the shooting.