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The heroic student who charged at the Oregon college gunman and was shot seven times as he tried to save his classmates told the man that it was his son's birthday.

Army veteran Chris Mintz, 30, was taken to hospital following the massacre at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning after trying to take down Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, who killed nine people at the school in Roseburg.

Mintz tried to block Harper-Mercer from entering a classroom as he fired his gun, even telling him as he lay on the ground bleeding; 'It's my son's birthday.'

His son Tyrik, who has non-verbal autism, turned six-years-old on Thursday.

After hearing this, Harper-Mercer continued to to shoot Mintz in cold blood.

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