It made for a good story in the aftermath of a terrible tragedy: Homeless man rushes to help victims of Manchester Islamic terror attack at Ariana Grande concert. But as it turns out, the man wasn’t helping at all; he was stealing the victim’s money and personal property.
On May 22, 2017, a jihadist detonated a suicide vest inside an arena filled with kids excited to see their favorite pop star. Twenty-two people were killed in the attack. The story of the “homeless hero,” Chris Parker, emerged days later. The 33-year-old claimed he ran inside the building after hearing the blast and cradled a dying woman in his arms. He told reporters at the time, “I ran into that arena that night because I heard kids screaming. I had no choice.”
“I’m supposed to be a hero but I’m not a hero, just a normal guy, a normal regular guy,” Parker claimed humbly.
A GoFundMe account was created for the man’s heroic deeds and raised nearly $70,000 to help get him off the streets.
But CCTV footage told an entirely story of Parker’s actions that night. From UK’s The Sun:
- Stole a debit card and purse from injured gran Pauline as she winced in pain on floor with 15 shrapnel wounds
- Swiped an iPhone 6 from an injured teenage victim before taking snaps of dead bodies
- Rifled through the pockets and bags of dying and injured victims in the foyer
- Then brazenly spent the stolen cash in McDonald's just hours after the attack
Cameras caught Parker moving through the human carnage, looking for useful items to loot. He kneeled next to a severely injured woman, nudged her to see if she was dead, and then looked through her purse. He used a stolen phone to take pictures of the mangled bodies and even the face of one of the women he robbed who had “her hand over her face and eyes closed in pain,” the report states. She went on to a 15-hour surgery to remove all the shrapnel in her body.
Here is a photo of Parker, the best dressed homeless person we’ve ever seen:
The Sun noted one positive outcome of his time in the spotlight: Parker reconnected with his estranged mother whom he hadn’t seen for five years. She would like to bring her son back home. However, Parker is in police custody and will face sentencing at the end of January for theft and fraud.
GoFundMe has set up a refund center so the 4,000 people who donated can get their money back.