Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fact Check

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If Your Time is short

• This incident, captured by security cameras, happened at a pharmacy in Brazil, not a convenience store in Texas.

• The individuals in the video who pulled guns on the person who intended to rob the store were plainclothes military police officers.

• It is unclear how many officers fired their guns, but there is no concrete evidence it was “every customer inside the store.”

In the wake of deadly mass shootings in the U.S., some old claims about guns and gun ownership are again circulating on social media.

Among them is a mischaracterization of what is shown in a real snapshot of 2017 security camera footage.

The low-resolution, black and white image shows at least three individuals pointing guns in the direction of a fourth person, who is on the ground.

“Man uses a gun to rob a Texas convenience store,” the Facebook photo caption reads. “Man was shot by every customer inside the store.”

The image is stacked on top of a photo of two bald eagles that is captioned, “(Laughs in American).”

The problem? This didn’t happen in America. And what did transpire before the image was taken does not line up with what the Facebook post claims.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

A reverse image search revealed that this video originated in Brazil in May 2017. And this claim about the video featuring customers stopping an armed robber has been fact-checked before.

According to accounts on ConcealedNation.org, Snopes.com and G1 Goiás, the image captured an attempted robbery at a pharmacy in Itumbiara, Brazil, that was stopped by plainclothes military police officers.

At the time, Brazil had strict gun ownership requirements, making it unlikely that a convenience store would have so many customers who were licensed gun owners if they weren’t police officers.

The security camera footage shows that a person wearing a helmet walked into the store and pointed a gun at the cashier behind the counter. As the officers realized what was happening, they drew their weapons. In seconds, the person who attempted to rob the store is on the ground, shot.

The person who attempted to commit the robbery was a 17-year-old, and he was dead by the time emergency medical services arrived. According to the reports, it is unclear how many officers fired, but there is no evidence to support the claim that it was “every customer inside the store.”

Concealed Nation, a website that says its purpose is “promoting responsible concealed carry,” accurately shared in 2017 that the incident occurred in Brazil. When sharing this story, the conservative news website Breitbart also noted that the event happened in Brazil.

Our ruling

A viral image post reads, “Man uses a gun to rob a Texas convenience store. Man was shot by every customer inside the store.”

The incident captured by the security cameras happened at a pharmacy in Brazil, not a convenience store in Texas, and the individuals in the video who pulled their guns on the 17-year-old robber were plainclothes military police officers.

It is unknown how many officers shot the boy who attempted to rob the pharmacy.

We rate this claim False.

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