This story has been updated.
Two days after drawing fire for suggesting victims of the Oregon community college shooting could have done more to fight back, Dr. Ben Carson recounted how when he was once held at gunpoint, he pointed the gunman in the direction of another target.
“I have had a gun held on me, when I was at a Popeye’s organization,” Carson told Karen Hunter on Sirius XM Radio on Wednesday, describing a hold-up incident in Baltimore, where Carson worked for years as a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University. “Guy comes in and puts the gun in my ribs and I just said, ‘I believe you want the guy behind the counter.’”
“He said, ‘oh, OK,’ and went over there. I redirected him,” Carson added.
On Thursday, Carson went back on Sirius XM Radio and spoke again about the incident, saying that the hold-up wasn’t the same as a mass shooting.
“They’re very two — very different situations,” he said. “You’ve got a crazy person who is shooting people and is clearly going to continue to do that, versus somebody who is coming in to try to get a little bit of cash. Now, I’m not justifying the fact that he’s coming in to rob the place, but you’ve got to be able to distinguish between somebody who’s trying to rob a joint and somebody who’s trying to kill you.”
The Republican presidential candidate’s story comes amid backlash over comments he made Tuesday, when he told “Fox and Friends” host Brian Kilmeade that he would have attacked the gunman if confronted with a scenario similar to the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College last week, which left 10 dead and nine injured.
“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said. “I would say ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.’”
On Wednesday, he again reiterated the idea, saying he hoped people would take his suggestion to heart in future shootings.
“I want to plant in people’s minds what to do in a situation like this because unfortunately this is probably not going to be the last time this happens,” Carson said of his controversial remarks.
Campaign representatives for Carson, who is in second place among Republican candidates in national polls, did not respond to a request for comment.