Police in El Paso are disputing a man’s story about his heroic efforts during a mass shooting at a local Walmart.
Chris Grant, 50, was set to be honored at the White House this week after he claimed to have distracted a gunman to save the lives of shoppers.
“I saw him popping people off,” Grant told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. “To deter him, I just started chucking bottles. I just started throwing random bottles at him. I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way and on went that way.”
He was shot twice during the Aug. 3 tragedy, when a gunman killed 22 people during a shooting rampage, per SandraRose.com. Grant’s tale of heroism and bravery captured the nation and he was even celebrated by Donald Trump and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
“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 very serious gunshots,” Trump said.
O’Rourke tweeted a picture he took with Grant in a hospital bed after the shooting.
“Chris is a hero. When he heard gunshots, he ran toward the killer—distracting him even though he knew it meant he would be in the line of fire. El Paso will always be defined by people like Chris. I am so proud he calls our community home,” O’Rourke said on Aug. 7.
Grant later created a GoFundMe to raise money for his medical bills.
But police say surveillance video does not back up his story, as it shows Grant trying to protect himself – and no one else.
In a statement released by El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo, he said Grant’s actions were “an act of self-preservation and nothing above that.”
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. 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.
Grant was scheduled to join other “heroes” at a White House ceremony, but he and his family were reportedly met by the Secret Service when they arrived in D.C.
Grant was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant. Carillo said the “hero” was actually a “fugitive from justice.”
Meanwhile, the suspected shooter, Patrick Crusius, was indicted for capital murder on Thursday and could face the death penalty.