Q: Was David Hogg at home during the February school shooting in Florida?
A: No. Hogg recorded videos from inside the school during the shooting and a teacher confirmed that he was there at the time.
Is this real???
David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire
Several weeks after 17 people were killed in a Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a number of student-survivors have continued to draw national attention as they advocate for gun control laws.
What’s also persisted: the flow of fabricated claims about those students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
One of the latest rumors — circulated in at least a dozen stories flagged as potentially false by Facebook users — claims that David Hogg, a senior named in previous false stories, was not actually at the high school during the shooting.
Those stories are indeed false.
The allegations are based on an out-of-context quote from Hogg. In a CBS News documentary, the 17-year-old said: “On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.”
With a glaring spelling error in its headline, the website julyfourthnews.com declared on March 28: “David Hogg Unintentially Reveals He Was Not At School When Parkland Shooting Happened.”
“SHOCK: David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire,” reads bigleaguepolitics.com’s March 26 headline.
But at no point did Hogg ever say that in the CBS News documentary, “39 Days,” or elsewhere.
Interviews and videos published in the days after the shooting support Hogg’s narrative that he was at the school when the shooter opened fire and that Hogg went home at some point and returned to the scene later that night.
In fact, Hogg, a student journalist and member of the school’s news show, recorded interviews with his peers inside the school as it remained locked down. The Miami Herald published that footage Feb. 15, which shows Hogg asking his fellow students about their views on gun control.
Time also published a video on Feb. 15 that was recorded by Hogg during the lockdown. In it, Hogg says “it’s 2:52” and that he “heard one gunshot.” (The shooting reportedly occurred from 2:21 p.m. to 2:28 p.m., and the lockdown was lifted at 3:36 p.m.)
“Once we were all in the room and we started seeing the headlines, we realized this was anything but a drill — this was life or death,” Hogg said in a MSNBC interview the day after the shooting. “And that actually was when I started recording. Because I realized that if I died, and if everyone else around me died, I wanted to have our voices heard.”
Hogg told MSNBC and Time magazine that he was in an AP environmental science class when the attack occurred.
Time reported that Hogg and other students tried to exit the building after a fire alarm went off, but a janitor sent them back. “A culinary arts teacher, Ashley Kurth, pulled Hogg and others inside [a classroom], locked the door, and made them hide in a closet,” Time wrote.
Kurth confirmed that account weeks later in a March 30 report by the Associated Press.
“I physically grabbed David by the arm and pulled him into my room,” Kurth said. “It is extremely frustrating the kind of information that is being put out there.”
At least some who shared the fictitious claims later realized as much.
A writer for the conservative blog RedState, who reported that the CBS video “is casting doubt” on Hogg’s whereabouts during the shooting, retracted her March 26 story and issued a tweet-thread apology. The story’s original headline was changed to read: “UPDATE: CBS Video Confusing. Hogg Was On Campus.”
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to help identify and label false stories flagged by readers on the social media network.
“‘39 Days’: How Parkland shooting survivors turned grief into action.” CBS News. 24 Mar 2018.
Alter, Charlotte. “The School Shooting Generation Has Had Enough.” Time. 22 Mar 2018.
D’Abrosca, Peter. “SHOCK: David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire.” bigleaguepolitics.com. 26 Mar 2018.
“David Hogg Unintentially Reveals He Was Not At School When Parkland Shooting Happened.” julyfourthnews.com. 28 Mar 2018.
Fleshler, David and Yiran Zhu. “Timeline: How the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting unfolded.” The Sun-Sentinel. 9 Mar 2018.
Hale Spencer, Saranac. “School Shooting Spawns Conspiracy Theories.” FactCheck.org. 23 Feb 2018.
Kirby, Jen. “Florida shooting survivor explains how his generation can force a change on guns.” Vox.com. 20 Feb 2018.
“Not real news: Sites make false claim shooting survivor David Hogg not in school.” Associated Press. 30 Mar 2018.
Prusher, Ilene. “A Student Started Filming During the Florida School Shooting. He Hasn’t Stopped.” Time. 15 Feb 2018.
Rumpf, Sarah. “It Was A Mistake. It Was Wrong. And I’m Sorry.” RedState. 28 Mar 2018.
Rumpf, Sarah. “UPDATE: CBS Video Confusing. Hogg was On Campus.” RedState. 26 Mar 2018.
“Student reporter interviews classmates hiding from gunman in Florida high school.” The Miami-Herald. 15 Feb 2018.
“Student says heroic janitor saved many lives during shooting.” Fox News. 14 Feb 2018.