LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting survivor opened up to CBS2 after becoming the target of a conspiracy theory. Some are calling 17-year-old David Hogg a phony and a fraud, but he’s fighting back against those reports while trying to be a vocal leader for his peers in an effort to tighten gun laws following last week’s massacre.
Hogg is one of several Stoneman Douglas students leading the charge against gun violence after 17 of his classmates and teachers were killed. He’s been interviewed by CBS News and other major networks multiple times. CBSLA’s Andrea Fujii caught up with him after he was in town for Dr. Phil and CNN interviews.
“I need to make these people’s voices heard so that they don’t die in vain,” said Hogg.
Fujii interviewed Hogg last August in Redondo Beach and now that story has gone viral. Hogg was visiting family and friends in Los Angeles when he recorded a confrontation between one of his friends and a lifeguard. Now skeptics are claiming the teen doesn’t even live in Florida. But CBS News confirmed he is a Stoneman Douglas High School student.
Still, there’s now a growing social media backlash against him. Some even claiming he’s an actor. A pawn for the left wing. Among the comments, Twitter user @Ganshohawanee tweeted, “WOW! This kid David Hogg somehow find his way in front of a camera from coast to coast, fm CA to FL! #DavidHogg must be building his #FakeNews resume/credentials”.
And user @shmupe wrote: “These kids were all given talking points. David Hogg, you sicken me.”
Hogg says he doesn’t understand the resentment.
“I witnessed this event, why are you guys doing this to me? I’m trying to be as well spoken as possible because these politicians won’t,” he tells Fujii. “I hate that people think I’m an actor, but I don’t have time to care about that. I have to keep going.”
Hogg’s father is former FBI, but he claims that despite some speculation, his dad has nothing to do with his views.
“I am not fed any lines. My father is a retired FBI agent,” said Hogg. “I’m not working with him or anybody else on this. I’m speaking from my heart.”
Hogg said he hid once he heard the first gunshot that afternoon. Four of his younger sister’s friends were killed. He says he’s not sure if he’ll ever return to Stoneman Douglas High School and must figure out where he’ll finish his education.