SANTA FE, Texas - A self-proclaimed witness to the Santa Fe mass shooting who was interviewed by several national news outlets last year has been exposed as a phony.
It’s a testament to the importance of verifying your sources as a journalist—a sometimes challenging thing to do as breaking news is unfolding and your deadline is at hand.
In the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School mass shooting, CNN and the Wall Street Journal wrote of their interviews with David Briscoe, a substitute teacher inside the high school as shots rang out. A year later, his story has unraveled.
“We have no record of David Briscoe ever being a substitute or for that matter ever being employed full time or part time with the district,” Santa Fe School Board President Rusty Norman said. “He was not at the school at the time.”
Galveston County Sheriff’s investigators say the man’s account in the news of being in an English classroom when he heard loud shots is inconsistent with the layout of the school.
“There was no way that could be possible if he was teaching that certain class because of the wing where the shooting occurred,” Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.
CNN and the Wall Street Journal have now issued corrections to their articles.
“It’s pretty despicable that somebody would go to that extent with a tragedy of this caliber and portray himself as somebody that was actually there,” Steve Perkins, victim Anne Perkins’ husband, said.
Steve Perkins’ wife Anne was a real substitute teacher who died in the mass shooting may 18, 2018.
“There’s a lot of heroes at the school—real heroes at the school,” Perkins said. “It’s a direct insult to those people that gave their lives.”
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