A nursing student who was at the community college in Oregon on the day a gunman opened fire recalled tending to her dying friend and the heroism of the Army veteran who confronted the shooter.
Sharon Kirkham was in the class next door along with her friend Kim Dietz at Umpqua Community College when the shooting started Thursday. At first, they thought they heard something that sounded like a firecracker.
“Kim gets up and goes to the door and walks out,” Kirkham told ABC News. "And then you hear rapid fire, like three in a row. The door opens back up, and Kim comes back in the room and slumps over. I realized she’s shot.”
Kirkham performed CPR on her friend while more gunshots rang out. Dietz died in her arms, Kirkham said.
Then Chris Mintz, an Army veteran, came into the classroom and told everyone to get down and turn off the lights.
“As soon as the door shut, the other door from the classroom opened and it was the shooter and that’s when he shot Chris because I could hear Chris yelling, 'It’s my son’s birthday!' Then you hear rapid gunfire,” Kirkham recounted.
Mintz was shot seven times.
“The next thing I see, I look up and there was the officer with the gun and I saw him shoot," said Kirkham. "And then I don’t know how much time elapsed, and then they called an ‘all-clear.’"
The incident left 10 people dead, including the gunman, and seven injured.
Once the shooter was neutralized, Kirkham said a young woman who was shot in the leg needed help getting out.
“So I just picked her up and carried her to the end of the breezeway and gave her to a cop.”
Then, Kirkham tended to Mintz.
“I just knelt down and I just held his hand until they made me leave him. But he’s a hero,” she said.
“The last thing you really think is ‘gunshot,’" she said. “We were worried about getting our paper turned in, and it just took everybody’s world and turned it upside down.”