Army vet Chris Mintz was shot seven times as he tried to save other students during the massacre in Oregon – yet he managed a smile in his hospital bed.

He “tried to protect some people,” his aunt Sheila Brown told NBC News. “We were told he did heroic things to protect some people.”

Mintz, 30, underwent surgery after being shot in the back, abdomen and hands, and also had two broken legs, she said.

“We’re not sure how his legs got broken,” she told the network. “He was on the wrestling team and he’s done cage-fighting so it does not surprise me that he would act heroically.”

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