Right now, Americans across the country are looking at the extreme evil that emanated out of the El Paso shooter, which led to the death of at least 22 innocent civilians, and wondering how we as a nation can move on and improve from the tragedy. "How could somebody be so evil?," many question. But from this shooting comes the opportunity for America to look at what a true man looks like in the example set forth by Christopher Grant. Grant is an El Paso survivor who distracted the Walmart shooter and risked his own life in an attempt to save others. In the following CNN interview, Grant displayed humility, love, sacrifice, and exemplified what it means to be a real man as well as why fathers are so important in society.
"I think that any man who's a man would have done that," Grant told CNN's Chris Cuomo from his hospital bed.
El Paso survivor to CNN from his hospital bed:— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) August 6, 2019
I wish my mother brought her revolver with her that day. pic.twitter.com/iXtcMwSQ6E
That "that" Grant is referring to was the action he took on Saturday, August 3.
"I saw him standing in the parking lot..and I saw him popping people off," Grant said of the shooter. "And I was inside the produce department which is right by the front door...So to deter him I started just chucking bottles, random bottles at him. And I'm not a baseball player, so one went this way one went that way. And then one went right towards him and then that's when he saw me."
"And I ducked, I was behind the chips...and he just 'boop boop boop' started firing off rounds at me," he added. "So when I got hit it was like somebody put a hand grenade in my back and then pulled the pin. That's what it felt like."
Just prior to that, Grant told Cuomo that he at first ran to his mother who typically always has a firearm for self-defense. But that day she did not.
"I heard gunshots, and I knew what it was. So I ran towards my mother to try and shield her, so I'm like 'Mom!' -- cause my mom she's a gun-wielding Grandma. She carries a snubnosed Smith and Weston .38 special with a built-in scope in it., everywhere she goes."
"Not that day?" Chris Cuomo responds.
"An hour before we go to Walmart, she decided 'Oh, We're just going to Walmart. I'm going to put in my room. So when I went to her, no gun. And I'm like 'Oh my God, you gotta be kidding be me. and then she took off and it was chaos.
Grant was so close to the carnage that he could hear the prayers of the victims. Many of these individuals were of Hispanic descent. They were the target of the hate-filled white supremacist domestic terrorist simply because of the color of their skin.
"I mean people were praying in Spanish, 'por favor no. no, por favor no.' And they were on the ground, and he still just shot them in the head. I mean I'm from El Paso and I know Spanish and they were praying 'please, please don't shoot me' and he just had no remorse."
Grant managed to run away and seek shelter, despite being wounded. That's when he found who he says is his guardian angel.
"Then I finally found the auto department, and so I ran through the auto department door. And there was Donna, my guardian angel. And she's a federal agent,"
"CBP," Cuomo stated.
"...She went to work, and did her job, and patched me and took me to shelter, and covered me and just did all these things she was paid to do, that's her job. And she said the same thing my mom said, 'I'm going to Walmart, I don't need my firearm.' And so she didn't have her gun with her. She'll be a friend for life...I honestly think she saved my life. I really do. She was there for me and never left my side."
Grant, whose warmth in his heart shines even as he struggles in his hospital gown, then apologizes for crying.
"I don't mean to be a sissy and cry...I'm just sorry...I believe in God, I'm a firm believer in God. But I don't think I deserved to live like some of those children deserved to die...I really don't."
"It's just not fair. It's not fair. I mean one little girl saw her parents get killed right in front of her...I mean why you kill an innocent..." How much hate in your heart do you have to have to do that?"
"And then to come to find out he did it because 'oh, he had a vendetta against Mexicans?' Have you ever spent any time in this town? Anybody here would help you if you didn't even know them. I mean this is such a great, great city. It's a beautiful city."
When asked if he could appreciate the fact that what he did was amazing, Grant’s response was nothing but humble.
"I think a lot of men would have done that," he told Cuomo.
When the CNN anchor asked Grant what it says about him that he actually did that, the hero gave all the credit in the world to his father.
"It says that my father raised me that way. My father raised me to help people. He was in the Airforce. He was a great man, If I could be half the man that my dad was then, I could be a great man too. But I'm not/ I just want to be half the man he was."
Again, Grant insisted that he simply did what any good man would do.
"I can't believe people just...I mean we're men, man. You know? That's what men do, right?
"I won't accept [gratitude] I just did what any good man would have done, that's all...I can't take credit for anything because 22 people died. If I could trade my life for that little girl's life that I saw killed, I would do it ina second."
This interview reminds America that a true man, not a twisted, deranged individual like the El Paso shooter, selflessly sacrifices himself for others and refuses to take credit for simply doing what must be done. Grant also reminded us of the importance of fathers to set good examples for their children, for it is the lessons passed down from our dads which form the moral conscience of the next generation. When those dads pass on true masculine strength as Grant clearly displays, then families and communities are the better off for it. Christopher Grant is an American hero.