EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Police in El Paso are disputing a man’s story of his heroic efforts during the deadly rampage after he was honored at the White House earlier this week.
Police say surveillance video does not back up the story by Christopher Grant, who was honored for his actions during the Aug. 3 mass shooting at a Walmart.
Grant previously said he threw bottles to try to stop the attack, which left 22 people dead. Grant, who was shot twice, was among those recognized on Monday by President Donald Trump, although his mother received the certificate because Grant was temporarily detained by the U.S. Secret Service because of an outstanding warrant.
However, 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.”
In an interview with a television reporter, Mr. Grant provided an inaccurate account of the actions he took at the El Paso Walmart on August 3. El Paso Police Detectives have reviewed hours of surveillance footage of the scene.
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’s alleged actions were celebrated throughout the nation including by Trump and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
“Chris grabbed 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 shooters to turn towards Chris and fire at Chris,” Trump said during the ceremony. “Whereby Chris suffered two very serious gunshot wounds, but he is recovering well and we wish him the best, his family is here.”
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. pic.twitter.com/blJI0HArlX
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 7, 2019
“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.
On Thursday, the suspected shooter, Patrick Crusius, was indicted for capital murder and could face the death penalty.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)