Man claiming to be survivor of Santa Fe High School shooting never worked for district

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Monday, July 1, 2019
Man who says he was a survivor of Santa Fe shooting, is an imposter.
Man who says he was a survivor of Santa Fe shooting, is an imposter.

SANTA FE, Texas (KTRK) -- A man who told national media outlets that he was a substitute teacher at the time of the Santa Fe High School shooting never worked for the district, Santa Fe ISD told ABC13.

The man, who identified himself as David Briscoe, told outlets including CNN, Time and The Wall Street Journal that he witnessed the shooting on May 18, 2018.

Ten people were killed and 13 were injured when accused shooter Dimitrios Pagourtzis opened fire.

Santa Fe ISD said over the past week it has been asked to verify whether Briscoe ever worked there. It confirmed that there has never been anyone with that name who worked in the district as an employee (part-time or full-time), substitute, vendor, contractor or intern.

Santa Fe ISD also said Briscoe was never in contact with the district in any capacity and released this statement:

"We are extremely disappointed that an individual that has never been a part of our school community would represent themselves as a survivor of the mass violence tragedy that our community endured on May 18, 2018. This situation illustrates how easily misinformation can be created and circulated, especially when the amount of detailed information available is limited due to the still ongoing investigation into the events of May 18, 2018. We appreciate the efforts of those working to correct this misinformation. As a district our focus has always been and continues to be on supporting the needs of our students, staff, and community through the healing and recovery process."

The Texas Tribune reports that Briscoe had told CNN about how he protected his students until police came and recounted in The Wall Street Journal how he'd heard "blood-curdling screams" from students in the hallway.

The Texas Tribune said Briscoe had also told them a similar story back in April of this year, but chose not to publish his account after further investigation of his claims.

CNN, Time and The Wall Street Journal have all since issued updates, removing Briscoe's quotes from their coverage.

Eight students and two substitute teachers died in the shooting.

Pagourtzis' trial is set to begin in Fort Bend County in January 2020. His defense requested a change of venue out of Galveston County, where the shooting occurred, citing hundreds of social media comments on local news articles, giving them a window into how the potential jury pool feels.


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