James Shaw, Jr. has been hailed a hero after thwarting the Waffle House shooter in Antioch, Tennessee late last month. Though like many heroes in the face of tragedy, Shaw has modestly downplayed his act of true bravery.
Upon the shooter’s entrance into the Waffle House on April 22, Shaw retreated toward the bathrooms to await his opportunity to attack. When Travis Reinking opened fire, fatally shooting four and wounding four others, Shaw instinctively reacted with insane courage despite being grazed by a bullet.
Shaw, an electrician by trade, instantly turned into the likes of a combat hero with ninja-like reflexes when he saw his window of opportunity to take down Reinking. When the firing ceased momentarily as the gunman reloaded his AR-15 rifle, Shaw tackled Reinking and tossed the rifle over the counter, forcing him to flee the premises.
2. Part of the reason I decided to start this is James, after putting his life on the line, started a @gofundme for the victims. He really represents the best of America and I think we should help him too. So far over $6,000 has been donated. Thank you! https://t.co/BkUyA63VOQ
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 24, 2018
“I saw my opportunity, my window,” said Shaw. “So I took it. And I ran through the door as fast as I can and just kind of jammed him up with the gun pointed down. Then we started kind of wrestling for it and scuffling for it and fighting for it.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Reinking was captured after a day-long manhunt and is facing multiple charges.
And Shaw’s unspeakable acts of heroism did not stop there. In an effort to aid shooting victims, he set up a GoFundMe page intended to raise $15,000.
While he claims, “I’m just a regular guy,” America emphatically disagrees.
“I am creating this page to help the families of the victims from the shooting that took place at Waffle House in Antioch, TN,” wrote Shaw on the GoFundMe. “Please take the time to donate as all of the proceeds will be given to the families. Thank you again for your generosity and blessings!”
But once again, this Good Samaritan’s act of service gloriously exceeded expectations.
As of today, the fund has amassed a whopping $230,043 with the help of over 6,000 kind strangers — a far cry from the $15,000 he had hoped for. Another man named Yashar Ali has started a fund in his honor as well.
“I am overwhelmed,” said Shaw of the remarkable campaign results.
“To the thousands of people who have expressed their care, prayers and made financial donations, I can only respond by saying, ‘Thank you.’”
Shaw continued to explain that the worldwide generosity displayed has been “a heartwarming reminder of what is possible when we come together to care for one another.”
If you’d like to be a part of this heartwarming chain reaction to such horrible tragedy, you can donate to the GoFundMe supporting victims here and encourage your friends to do the same by sharing Shaw’s inspiring story.
Well done, Mr. Shaw.
We could sure use a few more Waffle House heroes like you in this world. 💛