A Philadelphia native and Fox 29 intern who survived the Orlando mass shooting has disputed claims on social media that she was a “crisis actor” for the station, and was not actually at Pulse nightclub when the incident occurred.
Patience Carter, who was shot in the right leg but survived the shooting that claimed 49 lives, posted on Instagram Friday a picture of her cast and thanked Orlando Hospital workers and her supporters. She added she was discharged from the hospital.
Carter also thanked “skeptics” who believe she wasn’t at the shooting and claim she is posing as a “crisis actor” for Fox 29. "It's your outrageous insensitivity that makes me want to heal even faster, and grow even stronger," she wrote.
The conspiracy theory first arose in a YouTube video Tuesday, which also claims the entire shooting was staged.
Conspiracy theorists, like the narrator in the video, believe crisis actors are people paid by the government or media to deceive the public through signs of trauma and suffering after staged acts of violence, like mass shootings or terrorist attacks.
The theory quickly spread on social media, as supporters tried to prove that Carter was involved in a “false flag” event.
Carter previously talked to reporters at Orlando hospital Tuesday about the shooting. The woman who greeted her at Pulse, Amanda Alvear, was one of the 49 killed. Akrya Murray—one of Carter’s friends who had entered the nightclub with her—was also killed.
She also shared a poem, shared by Tampa Bay Times reporter Kathryn Varn:
— Kathryn Varn (@kathrynvarn) June 14, 2016
Fox 29 reported Monday that Carter was in surgery until 12:30 a.m. Monday due to her injuries. She is an Emma Bowden Foundation Scholar in her second summer of interning at the station, and currently a New York University student, the station reported.
Bill Anderson, a weekend co-anchor at the station, posted on Facebook support for the 20-year-old.
“Patience Carter is motivated, intelligent and ambitious, she didn't deserve this, nor did any of the others,” he wrote Sunday. “They remain in our thoughts and prayers!”
Patience posted on Instagram Friday that she was leaving Orlando. As of Saturday morning, the video has more than 1,600 views and 180 likes.
You can view Patience telling her whole story of the shooting below: