A “hero” of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas — who was honored this week at the White House — isn’t telling the truth, police say.
President Donald Trump commended Chris Grant at a ceremony Monday at the White House, after he claimed to have thrown soda bottles at the gunman who killed 22 people and wounded 25 on Aug. 3, according to the El Paso Times.
In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo after the shooting, Grant said he was throwing bottles to distract the shooter, who then turned on him and fired.
But that isn’t what happened, El Paso police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told McClatchy news group.
“El Paso Police detectives have reviewed hours of surveillance footage of the scene,” Carrillo said in an email. “The video evidence of the scene does not support Mr. Grant’s assertions. His actions were captured by surveillance cameras, and they are not as described by Mr. Grant.”
Police said that no one verified the account with them.
“Nobody bothered to check with us,” Carrillo told the Washington Examiner. “They would have been informed, as I am telling you now, that our detectives reviewed hours of video and his actions did not match his account.”
Instead, the video surveillance shows that Grant’s responses to the shooting “amount to an act of self-preservation.”
“We are not demeaning his reaction, which are of basic human instincts, but they amount to an act of self-preservation and nothing above that,” Carrillo told McClatchy.
Grant’s mother accepted the commendation on his behalf, the El Paso Times reported. According to the Washington Metropolitan Police Department, the Secret Service arrested Grant because he was a “fugitive from justice,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Secret Service said a person was detained the same day of the ceremony but didn’t name the suspect in a statement to KDBC.
“On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a White House visitor with an arrest warrant was temporarily detained by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers,” the Secret Service said in the statement to the El Paso TV station. “It was subsequently determined that while the arrest warrant was still active, the agency that issued the warrant would not extradite, at which time the individual was released from Secret Service custody.”