- President Donald Trump recently honoured a Texas man at a White House ceremony, commending him for his bravery during the mass shooting in El Paso.
- But the El Paso police say Chris Grant, 50, fabricated his story of heroism – they say surveillance footage of the shooting doesn’t show Grant distracting the gunman as he claimed.
- Grant told media outlets last month that he started “chucking bottles” at the shooter until he aimed at Grant and opened fire.
- Grant reportedly tried to attend Monday’s White House ceremony but was detained by the Secret Service over an unrelated arrest warrant. Grant’s mother accepted the certificate of commendation in his place.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The police say a man recently honoured by President Donald Trump for his bravery during the El Paso, Texas, mass shooting last month actually invented the story.
At a White House ceremony on Monday, Trump commended Chris Grant, 50, along with four other civilians from El Paso and six police officers who confronted the shooter in Dayton, Ohio, on August 4.
“Chris grabbed – listen to this – soda bottles and anything else in front of him, and began hurling them at the gunman, distracting him from the other shoppers and causing the shooter to turn toward Chris and fire at Chris, whereby Chris suffered two serious gunshot wounds,” Trump said.
But the El Paso Police Department said there’s no evidence any of that’s true.
A police representative told local media outlets that Grant could be seen on surveillance footage throughout the shooting and that his true actions during the shooting didn’t match up with his story.
“The video evidence of the scene does not support his assertions,” an El Paso police spokesman, Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, told the El Paso-based KFOX. “His actions were captured by surveillance cameras, but they amount to an act of self-preservation, nothing more, nothing less.”
El Paso police: The White House never checked with them to make sure Grant’s story was true
Carrillo told El Paso’s ABC-7 that the police department wasn’t trying to “shame the guy” by speaking out against his claims.
“It’s just that what he said is not truthful,” Carrillo said.
Grant appears to have first made the claims to CNN’s Chris Cuomo in a bedside interview shortly after the shooting.
“I saw him popping people off, and I was like, ‘This is crazy,'” Grant told the news anchor. “So deter him, I started just chucking bottles, I started throwing bottles – random bottles – at him. I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way, one went that way, and then one went right towards him. And then that’s when he saw me.”
Carrillo also told the El Paso Times that the White House never checked with the El Paso Police Department to check whether Grant’s story was true before Trump issued him a certificate of commendation.
Grant was ultimately unable to attend Monday’s White House ceremony because he was temporarily detained by the Secret Service because of an active arrest warrant from a different law-enforcement agency, ABC-7 reported. The Secret Service ultimately released him, and Grant’s mother accepted Trump’s certificate of commendation in his place.
- Read more:
- Dozens have been arrested over mass-shooting threats since El Paso and Dayton. But experts say a deterrence strategy could do more harm than good.
- A man lost his wife in the El Paso Walmart shooting, then his car was stolen during her funeral. His community came together to replace it.
- A gun advocacy group says members were able to bring guns into Walmart even after it asked people to stop openly carrying firearms in stores
- The man whose family members were killed in the El Paso shooting says he received hate calls after posing for a picture with Trump