Summary: A Tennessee man disarmed a gunman at a Waffle House on Sunday.
James Shaw Jr. grabbed the barrel of a gun to stop an active shooter inside of a Tennessee Waffle House, but the humble man claims he isn’t a hero.
“I’m not a hero. I’m just a regular person,” Shaw said, according to NPR. “I think anybody could’ve did what I did if they’re just pushed in that kind of cage, and you have to either react or you’re going to, you know, fold.”
While Shaw may not think he’s a hero, those inside the Waffle House, the city of Antioch, Tennessee, and the nation believe otherwise.
On Sunday, a gunman attacked patrons and workers inside the restaurant, and he shot six people. Three of his victims died at the scene, and the fourth died at the hospital. More could’ve been killed if Shaw, who was unarmed, had not approached the shooter and grabbed the gun from him.
Shaw has been praised for his bravery, but he insists that he was only trying to stop the violence and save himself. However, many know that not everyone would’ve done what he did to stop a troubled man with a gun.
“He is the hero here, and no doubt he saved many lives,” Metro Nashville Police spokesperson Don Aaron said on Sunday.
Shaw, 29, lives in Nashville and works as a technician at AT&T. He told the news that he had no formal combat training.
“Yeah, I knew I had it in me. I haven’t had any specific combat training,” Shaw said. “I just fight my daughter every night, so I can put her to bed.”
The suspect, Travis Reinking, fled the scene and is on the run. Shaw said that when he saw the gunman his instinct was to not let someone kill him easily.
“I did that completely out of a selfish act. I was completely doing it just to save myself. Now, me doing that, I did save other people. But I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator, or Superman or anybody like that. It was just, I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” Shaw said.
When grabbing the rifle from the gunman, Shaw was shot at. A bullet grazed his elbow, and he felt the heat of the gun’s barrel on his bare hands. He said that the gunman said profanity to him as they battled over the weapon.
“He was cursing me, because, you know, I was taking his gun from him. And then after I got the gun, he was just like — he acted like I was in the wrong,” Shaw said. “And I was like, ‘I’m just trying to live.’ ”
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