Almost 3,500 people have signed an online petition urging the Obama administration to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Chris Mintz, a military veteran who was shot while attempting to stop the shooter at Umpqua Community College in Oregon on Thursday.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom, bestowed by the President, is the highest honor the government can grant a civilian, the Daily Dot reports. It has been given out since the 1960’s, and has previously been awarded to Martin Luther King Jr., Warren Buffett, Mother Teresa, Norman Rockwell, and Stevie Wonder.
The petition, which is hosted on the White House’s official We the People platform, commends Mintz for “his actions to alert others of the danger and then to endanger himself while delaying the attacker to allow time for others to escape.”
At the shooting on Thursday, Chris Harper-Mercer opened fire on the school’s Roseburg, Oregon campus, killing nine people, as well as himself. Mintz, who was on campus, led a group of people out of the building where the shooting was occurring before re-entering the building to help prevent more casualties. He attempted to block Harper-Mercer from entering a classroom of people, and, in the process, was shot seven times.
Mintz’s injuries were serious, but not fatal. His cousin created an online crowdfunding campaign to cover Mintz’s medical bills. Though he initially set a goal of $10,000, the campaign has already raised over $700,000.
The petition, which ends November 1st, needs to reach 25,000 signatures in order for the administration to comment on it.