ANTIOCH, TN — James Shaw Jr., the man who wrestled the AR-15 from alleged Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking, saving countless lives, has now raised nearly $90,000 for the families of the victims of Sunday’s shooting.
He’s been lauded as a hero by everyone from Nashville’s mayor and police chief to the FBI to Waffle House’s CEO. He describes himself as "a pretty cool guy."
Shaw insists his actions weren’t heroic, that he was acting selfishly, trying to save his own life. Four people – Taurean Sanderlin, 29, a Waffle House worker, and patrons Joe Perez, 20, DeEbony Groves, a 21-year-old Belmont University senior; and Akilah Dasilva, 23 – died in the attack, but law enforcement officials say that but for Shaw, many more would have been killed. Reinking was arrested in a wooded area of South Nashville Monday afternoon.
Self-described "regular guy" Shaw has done enough already. Few would argue otherwise. But he’s doing even more now.
Sunday evening, 14 hours after the Waffle House attack, Shaw launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the families of the victims.
With an initial goal of $15,000, the effort hit that goal before midday Monday. By Tuesday morning, as word spread, the total skyrocketed.
Donors added their dollars and added their voices to the chorus of praise for the self-effacing hero.
"Courage is demonstrated by the deed," one man wrote. "Simply by marking your personal stand you demonstrated it. Few heroes in my estimation even have the time to reflect on the wider picture, they act on instinct, as you did. You may shy away from the ‘hero’ label (honourably) so I will not refer it to you. Your instincts were good, Sir, your instincts were very good indeed."
"Whether you moved against the gunman out of selfish reasons or not, the fact is you did SOMETHING to stop the killing," another person added. "In my book that makes you a hero and an upstanding young man."
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Photo via Office of the Mayor