A man who claimed he was a substitute teacher at Santa Fe High during the 2018 shooting told a harrowing story of survival. But the school district says he never worked there.
by Alex Samuels July 1, 201912 AM
A middle school served as a reunion point for parents and students after a gunman killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School in 2018.
Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune
In the immediate aftermath of the May 2018 shooting at Santa Fe High School, a man who said he witnessed the carnage seemed to turn up everywhere.
The man calling himself David Briscoe appeared in Time as a substitute teacher seemingly in the wrong place at the wrong time; CNN described his heroism as he ordered his students to “get down” and kept them protected until police came; The Wall Street Journal relayed the blood-curdling screams he heard from students in the hallway.
In April, nearly a year after the shooting, he told a strikingly similar story to The Texas Tribune. But after investigating some of his claims, the Tribune did not publish his account of the shooting — because it appears his entire story was an elaborate hoax.
In a roughly 31-minute interview with the Tribune, David Briscoe told his tale: When the first shots rang out — “it was very, very loud” — he said he directed his classroom of nearly a dozen students in the remedial English course he was teaching to muffle their screams with their hands.
He barricaded the doors. Turned off the lights.
He said he could never return to the Houston-area school where 10 died and another 13 were injured last spring. “Just knowing that there’s blood on the walls where you walk at … I don’t think I could go back,” he said, so after he and his students were rescued by law enforcement, he said he quit teaching altogether and moved to Florida, three months after he took the job at Santa Fe High.
But according to the school district, he was never there.
Lindsey Campbell, a spokeswoman for Santa Fe Independent School District, said it had no record of anyone named David Briscoe being employed by the district in any capacity and that the district is confident no one by that name was on campus the day of the shooting last year.