'Teacher' Was Hailed as Hero. It May Have Been a Hoax

Story of David Briscoe and Santa Fe shooting falls apart after 'Texas Tribune' looks into it
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2019 7:37 AM CDT
Santa Fe High School junior Guadalupe Sanchez, 16, hugs her mother, Elida Sanchez, after reuniting with her at a meeting point at a nearby Alamo Gym following a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Santa...   (Michael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle via AP)
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(Newser) – "I barricaded the door with desks and tables and shut the lights." So recounted substitute teacher David Briscoe to CNN in May 2018 after a school shooting left 10 dead at Santa Fe High School in Texas. Briscoe was hailed as a hero as he told his story about protecting his students to other outlets as well, including Time, the Austin American-Statesman, and the Wall Street Journal. One big problem: The Texas Tribune now reports that no David Briscoe ever worked at the school —and "it appears his entire story was an elaborate hoax." Details:

  • Unraveling: The story began falling apart when Briscoe reached out to Tribune reporter Alex Samuels in April suggesting an interview on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. The story includes their exchanged texts, and the two subsequently had a 31-minute recorded interview. The Tribune was apparently the first outlet to vet Briscoe's story, however, and when Samuels asked to meet after the interview to fact-check some things, Briscoe balked.
  • New story: Briscoe now claims that someone must have stolen his identity and talked to the above-mentioned media outlets using his name. He has begun deleting former tweets about the shooting and is not responding to requests for comment, per the Tribune.

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