James Shaw Jr., Waffle House Hero, Raises Over $100,000 For Victims’ Families
An Antioch man, James Shaw Jr, was credited with saving the remaining attendees at a Nashville Waffle House shooting on Sunday (Apr. 22). At his own expense, Shaw Jr. disarmed suspect Travis Reinking amid a shooting rampage. While he’s being called a hero, Shaw Jr. has since declared that he was not acting as a savior, just as someone who wanted to “live,” per the New York Times.
Shortly after the incident, nearly unscathed but acknowledging the casualties, the 29-year-old started a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise $15,000 for the families of the four victims whose lives were claimed by the incident. But in just four days, he’s raised that money by more than tenfold. Shaw Jr. created the GoFundMe page on Monday (Apr. 23) and has raised almost $175,000 from nearly 5,000 people.
Shaw Jr. has been recognized locally and countrywide for having wrestled Reinking down to the ground, then removing his gun, but he is asking that people refrain from calling him a hero. “… I feel like everybody can do pretty much what I did,” he told the New York Times. He visited the trauma unit of Vanderbilt Hospital, floating in and out of rooms for check-ins. He wanted to know about the status of those who were wounded. Shaw himself said that Reinking “grazed [his] arm.” He decided then that Reinking would have to “work to kill him.”
The 29-year-old electrician has a 4-year-old daughter and is just glad that his attempt at self-defense was effective. “I didn’t even think about her. In the midst of it, I was just trying to save myself,” he said.
HuffPost and New York Magazine freelancer Yashar Ali started a GoFundMe page for Shaw Jr. and his family, with hopes that it will go toward his daughter’s education or even a family vacation. “He really represents the best of America and I think we should help him too,” Ali tweeted. In just three days, $182,000 was raised. Shaw is just happy that he got to see 30.
The Waffle House where the incident occurred is donating proceeds from the next month to the families of the four who were killed and the two who are still in the hospital, CBS News reports.