A Texas man who claimed he distracted a gunman to save the lives of shoppers at an El Paso Walmart was arrested on his way to a ceremony at the White House.
Chris Grant was shot twice as he shopped for snacks for his children on Aug. 3, when a gunman killed 22 people during a shooting rampage.
The 50-year-old spun a tale of heroism and bravery that captured the attention of social media, and even President Trump who invited him to the White House.
Grant was praised and hailed as a hero for trying to save those around him when the shooting began.
He made the rounds of cable news networks including CNN, where his story changed a little each time he told it.
“I saw him popping people off,” Grant tearfully told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. “To deter him, I just started chucking bottles. I just started throwing random bottles at him. I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way and on went that way.”
Grant said his actions resulted in the gunman targeting him.
He later created a Gofundme page to raise money for his medical bills.
President Trump was impressed with Grant’s courage in the face of death.
“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 very serious gunshots,” Trump said.
But police say surveillance video tells a different story. The video shows Grant trying to protect himself – and no one else, police said.
“The video evidence of the scene does not support his assertions,” El Paso Police Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told KFOX.
Grant was scheduled to join other “heroes” at a White House ceremony, but he and his family were met by the Secret Service when they arrived in D.C.
Grant was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant, Carillo said. He added that the “hero” was actually a “fugitive from justice.”
In a statement the Secret Service also confirmed a “White House visitor with an arrest warrant was temporarily detained.”