David Briscoe, substitute teacher, a fake


David Briscoe's description of the gruesome massacre at a Texas high school on May 18 last year was incredibly graphic and detailed.

Briscoe told reporters from a number of national media outlets – includes Time, CNN and The Wall Street Journal – that he was a substitute English teacher at Santa Fe High School when 10 people were killed.

He heard gunshots, screaming and a fire alarm, he said. It sounded like somebody had been shot nearby and was groaning. So he did what he thought was the best thing to do.

"I barricaded the door with desks and tables and shut the lights," he told CNN.

"Honestly, it felt like hours before we got out of the school, but one of my students said it was 30 to 45 minutes," he said.

Time magazine ran a story quoted the substitute teacher, too.

"Briscoe's reality – though, he says, it still feels like a dream – is a nightmare for any teacher," the author wrote.

A report of devastating events perpetrated by 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

But in April, Briscoe's story fell apart. He reached out to a reporter from the Texas Tribunehoping to discuss his role in the aftermath of the shooting

Journalist Alex Samuels spoke to him for 31 minutes. He told her the things he remembered from being inside the school.

"Just to know that there is blood on the walls where you walk at … I don't think I could go back."

He told Samuels he "became isolated and depressed and began drinking heavily", that "he never tried to contact any other survivors" and once "contemplated suicide".

But the Tribune never ran his story. Instead, Samuels started doing some digging.

David Briscoe discovered that he was employed by the local school district.

Briscoe claimed he was working when the shooting began.

Samuels looked through public records that showed no David Briscoe lived in Texas at the time.

The Twitter account – @daviddbriscoe – that was used to contact the Tribune in April has been removed and all over the world.

Before he deleted the Twitter account, Briscoe was attacked for using his own personal benefit.

Leigh Wall, the Superintendent for the Santa Fe Independent School District, told the Tribuneshe was "extremely disappointed that an individual has never been a part of our community community."

"This situation illustrates how easily misinformation can be created."

It is not the first time a person has inserted themselves into a traumatic event.

Tania Head claimed she was inside the World Trade Center's south tower when a plane was deliberately flown into it on September 11, 2001.

According to The New York Times, she told reporters she was "crawling through the chaos and carnage on the 78th floor that morning". She said she was invited to have her wedding band returned to his widow.

She told college students and had it posted online as part of the official World Trade Center Survivors Network.

But she spoke to the spokesperson for the company.



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