A paramedic who was honored during a St. Louis Blues hockey game has been accused of making fraudulent claims for stating that he was a first responder during the 2013 Boston Marathon terror attack. Shawn Daniel, a 31-year-old EMT worker in the city of St. Louis, was honored during the January hockey game for his public service as well as for his heroic actions after the bombs went off in Boston. After the St. Louis Fire Department posted a picture of Daniel being honored along with a statement hailing him as a hero for being a first responder in Boston, a few individuals got the attention of the department when they offered proof that Daniel was lying.
“On April 15, 2013 just after the Boston Marathon Bombing, Paramedic Daniel was amongst the many emergency responders who ran towards the blast site to assist the injured,” the post on the St. Louis Fire Department Facebook page said. That’s when the St. Louis Fire Department started receiving messages from people who knew Daniel personally that he wasn’t in Boston at the time.
The Fox 25 investigation team went to speak to Daniel’s bosses in St. Louis after the initial report that some of his former coworkers were questioning his story. St Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby told Fox investigators that they decided to launch their own investigation into the matter.
“When that became apparent, that there was some question as to the validity (of his claims), an officer was placed to gather information,” Capt. Mosby said.
— St. Louis Fire Dept (@STLFireDept) January 25, 2017
Beyond just telling people he was a first responder, Daniel also reportedly told his bosses at the St. Louis Fire Department that he could be seen helping a wounded woman in footage that was taken immediately after the bombs went off. Firefighters from Boston refuted Daniel’s bold claim, saying they are able to identify the man in the footage as one of their own.
Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department, told Fox 25 that he knows for sure the man in the video is not Daniel.
“When I looked at the photo – and I showed it to several of my colleagues – instantly we said, ‘That’s a Boston firefighter,’” MacDonald told Fox. “It’s troubling that a person who is not a member is claiming to be a member. That’s certainly troubling.”
On the day of the Boston Bombing, Daniel was working with a private ambulance company called American Medical Response in New Hampshire. His supervisor on that day, Matthew Miner, says while Daniel was there as part of a “strike team,” none of their trucks went to the scene of the attack.
“None of our trucks were actually down there for that,” he said, adding that they were located about 70 miles away from the scene.
“It’s not actually an ambulance,” he added. “It means you’ll take people from a nursing home to a doctor’s appointment.”
A former coworker, Danielle Patrick, verified Daniel was no where near the scene that day.
“We would have known if he was sent there,” Patrick. “We would have been told.”
“That really angers me because people lost their lives that day,” Patrick continued. “Families were ruined. And he’s lying about it to get… I don’t know if he’s doing it to get famous or recognition in his career. I don’t know. But it’s devastating.”
Another one of Daniel’s coworkers from 2013, Jason Rector, spoke out after hearing about the investigation on the news. Rector, who is also a former roommate of Daniel, said:
“I was part of a strike team deployed to the Northeast region with Shawn Daniels (sic), specifically New Hampshire and Maine, in April of 2013, during which the Boston Bombings occurred. I can personally attest that no member of our strike team, including Shawn Daniels, was deployed to Boston before, during, or following the attacks in Boston. I can state with absolute certainty that at no time was I privy to Shawn’s involvement or activation to respond to the attacks in Boston. Shawn was not among the courageous heroes designated to the marathon, which later became the front-lines of a terrorist attack.”