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Police dispute El Pasoan's story of heroism during Walmart shooting

Chris Grant recovers in a hospital in El Paso  after being shot in the back when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart where he was shopping. (KFOX14/CBS4)
Chris Grant recovers in a hospital in El Paso after being shot in the back when a gunman opened fire in a Walmart where he was shopping. (KFOX14/CBS4)
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EL PASO, Texas (KFOX) — Authorities said an El Pasoan who was shot and injured when a gunman opened fire at a Walmart was not trying to help others.

Chris Grant was recognized Monday at the White House by President Trump for his alleged actions during the shooting.

Grant was not present during the ceremony, so his mother Minnie Grant accepted the certificate of Heroic Commendations from Trump.

The president said, “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 shooter to turn toward Chris and fire at Chris.”

On Tuesday, an El Paso police spokesman said Grant’s story of heroism is not true.

“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,” said police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo.

KFOX14 reached out to the Secret Service about reports of Grant being taken into custody during his visit to the White House.

Secret Service declined to identify the person they detained Monday due to its policy on individuals who come into contact with their law enforcement personnel.

“On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a White House visitor with an arrest warrant was temporarily detained by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers. 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.”

Grant's lawyer gave the following statement:

Chris Grant, like many other men, women and children who were shot, injured or killed, is a victim in the El Paso Wal-Mart mass shooting that occurred on August 3, 2019. Mr. Grant’s story was brought to light by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, but all 22 dead, and dozens of others shot and injured, are heroes in this tragedy. Mr. Grant did not seek any publicity following the shooting and repeatedly told Chris Cuomo and others that he is not a hero. Rather, Mr. Grant stated and continues to contend, that he acted like any other person would have done under those difficult circumstances. The events of August 3, 2019 were unspeakably horrible for all who were present. Many, if not all the survivors, have suffered severe post-traumatic stress. It is irresponsible and inappropriate to publicly shame him after everything he’s been through and when his well-being, both physical and mental, should be the only priority at the moment.

Mr. Grant stands by his statements and his recollections he made to police, to Chris Cuomo and others following the shooting. Mr. Grant was critically shot and almost bled out and died inside the Wal-Mart were it not for his determination to survive and the help of CBP officer Donna Sifford and others to help Mr. Grant escape Wal-Mart and be rushed to the hospital in a private vehicle in the midst of a scene of utter chaos and confusion. Mr. Grant underwent emergency surgery and endured a lengthy hospital stay. He is still recovering from his physical injuries. Mr. Grant’s recollections of the events of August 3, 2019 are genuine. Neither Mr. Grant nor anyone outside of law enforcement has had an opportunity to examine the surveillance video. Nonetheless, a surveillance video cannot begin to capture the entire story of Mr. Grant and others’ plights as the mass shooter rampaged inside Wal-Mart. The unprofessional and inaccurate statements being made have only heightened Mr. Grant’s suffering. Neither he nor any of the victims or their families deserve to be put through any additional and completely unnecessary mental strain or anguish at this time.

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Mr. Grant did not ask to become a victim in the tragedy that befell him and his community. Mr. Grant is taking the time he needs to fully heal from the physical and mental injuries that he suffered in this traumatic event. Mr. Grant is hopeful he becomes part of the process to see that an event like this never occurs again in El Paso, or anywhere else.

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