U.S. veteran John Parker claims that he had a concealed weapon on the campus of Umpqua Community College, but didn't use it against shooter Chris Harper Mercer on Oct. 1 (videos below).
Parker told MSNBC:
When we found out there was an active shooter on campus, we were going to go and see if we could intervene. Veterans are trained - Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army - we're trained to go into danger, not just run away from it. If there was something we were able to do, we were going to try to do it.
Luckily, we made the choice not to get involved. We were quite a distance away from the actual building where this was happening, which could have opened us up to be potential targets ourselves, and, not knowing where SWAT was on their response time, they wouldn’t know who we were. And if we had our guns ready to shoot, they could think that we were bad guys.
Parker said that they ended up going into a classroom where he informed everyone that he had a gun and would protect them if needed.
Parker added that Oregon state law allows concealed carry on the campus, which contradicts many conservatives who have blamed the school for being a "gun-free zone."
However, during an interview with Fox News, Parker told a different version of the situation:
Well, there was more than just me, there was a few people in the vet center, and when we heard the shooting happen, we got up and we were going to go out and see what we could do.
Immediately the staff, the school staff, stopped us and told us to get inside of the building. Some of us went to other buildings, but essentially the staff wouldn’t let us go to assist.
Hannity told Parker he'd read the campus was a "gun-free zone," and Parker replied, "They might have made a policy overnight all of a sudden, but it's public property, and I'm licensed to carry, and I'll continue to carry."
Another U.S. veteran, Chris Mintz, was shot seven times while trying to keep the gunman out of a classroom, Fox 8 reports.
Mintz told family members that he heard gunshots coming from a nearby classroom, and tried to keep the gunman from entering the classroom where he and others were.