A 29-year-old man named James Shaw Jr. has been credited with saving numerous lives Sunday morning after a gunman opened fire on a Waffle House in Tennessee, leaving at least four people dead and four people injured. Shaw Jr. himself was also grazed by a bullet and had been treated for a minor gunshot wound.
During the shooting, Shaw Jr. said he saw his opportunity to take down the shooter after he felt cornered. Police spokesman Don Aaron confirmed Shaw Jr.’s actions, saying that he rushed at the shooter, disarmed him, and threw the assault rifle he was over a counter.
As mentioned above, for his efforts, he had been grazed by a bullet, leading him to be taken to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center. After having been treated for his wound, Shaw Jr. has since been released from the hospital.
The shooter removed his coat and fled from the scene nude; police later identified the shooting suspect as Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Illinois.
Conflicting reports have listed the number of victims who lost their lives in the shooting as either being three or four. As Shaw Jr. was grazed by a bullet, it is unclear if he was included in the list of those injured.
Who is James Shaw Jr.?
According to USA Today, Shaw Jr., who was 29 at the time of the incident, issued the following statement describing his first-hand account of the shooting:
“I don’t know if it has hit me yet as far as witnessing other people dying.”
“It’s kind of, it shouldn’t have happened. When I was in the ambulance to [the hospital] I kept thinking that I’m going to wake up and it’s not going to be real. It is something out a movie. I’m OK though, but I hate that it happened.”
For his actions, however, he has also said that he does not exactly feel like a hero:
“I don’t really know, when everyone said that, it feels selfish.”
“I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”