A man who claimed that he hurled bottles to distract the El Paso Walmart gunman — and was even honored by the White House for his actions — lied about some of the details and was not a hero after all, authorities said in new reports.
Chris Grant, 50, was one of 11 people set to be honored Monday by President Trump for their bravery in the midst of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, which happened within hours of each other.
Instead, Grant was detained by the Secret Service at the White House — and authorities are questioning his account of events, ABC News reported. His mother, who was in attendance, accepted a certificate of commendation on his behalf.
Grant, who was wounded in the shooting, said that he had hurled bottles at accused gunman Patrick Crusius to try to distract him, rather than fleeing from the rampage that killed 22. Then, he claimed, the shooter turned his weapon on him.
But El Paso police told ABC Wednesday that video surveillance contradicts Grant’s story.
“[His actions] were basically human instincts, survival instincts but they were not heroic or as he described,” police spokesman Enrique Carrillo told the network.
But Carrillo declined to comment on what specific action Grant took, or comment on what interaction, if any, he had with Crusius.
“Nobody bothered to check with us,” Carrillo told the Washington Examiner. “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.”
The Secret Service confirmed to ABC that a man with an active arrest warrant was temporarily detained, but would not provide his name. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the detained person was in fact Grant.
He was subsequently released, and the status of the case is unclear, according to the report.
“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,” a Secret Service spokesperson told the El Paso Times.
A list of honorees at the Monday event, obtained by ABC, did not include Grant’s name.
Grant did not return multiple calls from the outlet.
Trump praised Grant at the Monday event.
“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. “Chris grabbed — listen to this — soda bottles and anything else in front of him, and began hurling them at the gunman, distracting him from other shoppers and causing the shooter to turn toward Chris and fire at Chris, whereby Chris suffered two serious gunshot wounds.”
His sister, Jenny Grant, went on Facebook to share photos of her mother requesting the award on Chris’ behalf.
“It was the most amazing, once in a lifetime experience I have ever had,” she said. “It didn’t matter what party you stand for or what you believe in. It was about recognizing the brave, dedicated citizens that without hesitation stared evil in the eyes to take care of one another.”