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In the aftermath of last month’s mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, Christopher Grant was hailed as a hero after claiming he took on the gunman with nothing but bottles. Now, law enforcement officials say Grant wasn’t being entirely truthful.
Christopher Grant, 50, honored by President Donald Trump for his actions during a mass shooting in an El Paso Walmart last month was arrested by Secret Service during his White House visit on Monday, officials said.
He was arrested on an active warrant from El Paso police, though it was not immediately clear what crime he was accused of committing. The arrest, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner, was confirmed to The Daily Beast by the Washington D.C. Police Department, which said Grant was arrested for being a “fugitive from justice.”
“On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a White House visitor with an arrest warrant was temporarily detained by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers,” a Secret Service spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “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.”
“I heard gunshots, and I knew what it was, so I ran towards my mother to try to shield her,” Grant told CNN’s Chris Cuomo last month from his hospital bed. Grant claimed he was in the store at the time, but said he saw the shooter in the parking lot “popping people off.”
Grant said his mother, who was with him at the time, fled to the back of the store, but he decided to stay. “I started throwing random bottles at him,” Grant said. “I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way, one went that way, and then one went right towards him.”
“I ducked, and he just boop-boop-boop-boop started firing off rounds at me,” Grant said. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy is shooting at me.” “When I got hit, it was like — it was like somebody put a hand grenade in your back and pulled the pin,” Grant said. “That’s basically what it felt like.”
It was a heartwarming story of bravery in the face of tragedy. There’s just one problem — according to police, it wasn’t true.
“Nobody bothered to check with us,” El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told the Washington Examiner for a story published Tuesday. “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.”
“His statements were inconsistent with what was revealed on video,” added Carrillo, who claimed that while Grant could be seen in surveillance video, he was not doing what he claimed to have done.
Grant has found himself in trouble with the law before. According to court records reviewed by the Examiner, he has previously pleaded guilty to car theft, stealing TVs and evading arrest.
Grant ended up not attending the White House ceremony honoring El Paso shooting heroes, though Trump commended him anyway.
“Chris Grant was picking out snacks for his kids when he suddenly saw the murderer firing at innocent shoppers a few aisles away from him,” the president said, according to a White House transcript of his remarks.
“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 serious gunshot wounds.”
A GoFundMe started by Grant’s sister raised nearly $17,000 on his behalf.