After a media backlash against his advice for shooting victims, Ben Carson talked about his encounter with a gunman in a Popeye’s restaurant. There are just two problems. First, Carson did not rush the shooter as he advised other victims to do. And second, the encounter may not have happened at all.
The GOP presidential candidate became a lightning rod after telling the hosts on Fox and Friends that he “would not just stand there and let them shoot me.”
“I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him.’ He may shoot me, but he can’t get all of us.”
The comments were in response to the mass shooting in Umpqua Community College that left nine people dead. Carson clarified that he was not judging the victims at all later that night, but the criticism had already started.
On Thursday, Ben Carson discussed the topic further and talked about his own experience with a dangerous shooter. Unfortunately for the former neurosurgeon, his tale is only drawing more of a backlash.
On SiriusXM radio, Carson explained he was in a Popeye’s Chicken in Baltimore many years ago when a gunman entered.
“The guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.'”
The story seemed to contradict Ben Carson’s previous suggestions, since he was apparently just standing there, and actually pointing the gunman to another target.
Still, the situations were not identical. Does Carson believe that people should rush the gunman in all situations, or only after he has opened fire? But the media is concerned with another question about the doctor’s narrative. Did it really happen at all?
According to the New York Daily News, the police aren’t sure.
In response to multiple media requests, the Baltimore police sent out this tweet.
Based on the information that #BenCarson mentioned, there was not enough info to identify a police report in reference to the incident.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) October 8, 2015
They added that a date and specific location would help them track down the records.
Furthermore, what was a vegetarian doing in a Popeye’s Chicken restaurant to begin with? (Dr. Carson has said that he never liked eating meat much.)
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager and central adviser, filled in some of the details on the story.
Ben Carson frequented a Popeye’s Chicken near John Hopkins University when he was a resident there some 30 years ago. He wasn’t entirely a vegetarian at the time, and he liked Popeye’s for the coleslaw, biscuits, and other sides.
When the Daily Beast asked why this incident never came up in any of the doctor’s personal stories or biographies, Williams explained that he probably didn’t want to “seem braggadocios.”
Armstrong added that the Republican candidate remained calm and managed to “diffuse” the incident.
Despite Williams’ positive spin on the story, major media outlets are taking it as proof the doctor doesn’t practice what he preaches. The headline from Mashable says Ben Carson threw the cashier “under the bus.”
The Popeye’s tale isn’t the only factor ratcheting up the criticism. On Wednesday, Oregon shooting survivor Mathew Downing told CNN that he was offended by Ben Carson’s comments.
“I’m fairly upset he said that. Nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it.”
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Downing was the “lucky one.”
The shooter reportedly told Mathew “You, with the glasses, you’re the lucky one. If you give this envelope to police, you’ll live.”
Ben Carson’s Popeye’s story may have only made matters worse for the presidential contender, but his popularity among conservatives has still earned him second place in the polls since late August.