A Texas man who was to be honored at the White House after claiming he was shot in the back while distracting the El Paso Walmart gunman was reportedly detained by Secret Service after local authorities alleged surveillance footage contradicted his story.
On Tuesday, El Paso police spokesman Seargent Enrique Carrillo said that Earnest Christopher Grant’s story of heroism—an account of himself throwing soda cans at the gunman, creating a distraction so others could flee—was fabricated.
“The video evidence of the scene does not support his [Grant] assertions. His actions were captured by surveillance cameras, but they amount to an act of self-preservation, nothing more, nothing less,” Carrillo said, according to KFOX.
Grant, 50, was one of 11 people President Donald Trump was to honor on Monday for their bravery during a string of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. However, Secret Service detained Grant upon his arrival to Washington, D.C., resulting in his mother accepting a certificate of commendation on his behalf, according to ABC News.
The President recounted the heavily-scrutinized story during Monday’s ceremony.
“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 towards Chris and fire at him,” Trump said. “Chris suffered two very serious gunshot wounds but he is recovering well and we wish him the best.”
While the Secret Service wouldn’t identify the man they temporarily detained for an active arrest warrant to ABC News, police confirmed it was Grant.
Carrillo also spoke with the network but declined to disclose what measures, if any, Grant took during the August 3 shooting which left 22 dead.
“[His actions] were basically human instincts, survival instincts but they were not heroic or as he described,” the police spokesman commented.
Grant was ultimately released from custody. ABC News claimed they obtained a list of honorees from Monday’s White House event which notably didn’t include Grant’s name.
[Featured image: Earnest Christopher Grant/CNN video screengrab]