James Shaw Jr. called a ‘hero’ after stopping Waffle House shooter

On Sunday morning, a gunman opened fire inside a Waffle House location in Antioch, Tennessee, killing four people and injuring at least two more. The situation could have been much worse if not for the intervention of a 29-year-old man named James Shaw Jr.

The gunman reportedly first fired shots in the Waffle House parking lot before entering the restaurant. When he stopped to reload his gun, Shaw approached him, wrestling the firearm from his control and tossing it behind the front counter, leading the shooter to flee the premises.

Shaw was wounded on his right forearms, just below the elbow, as he revealed in a photo taken from the hospital on Sunday. He also suffered burns to his hands, the result of having grabbed the barrel of the gunman’s rifle moments after it had been fired. He’s being hailed as a hero by many people on social media.

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A survivor of the shooting, Chuck Cordero, told local CBS affiliate WTVF that Shaw’s actions almost surely saved many lives. One of Cordero’s friends was shot by the gunman.

“So I don’t know who this guy is,” Cordero reportedly said. “I talked to him afterwards and told him, ‘You are a hero, man,’ because had that guy reloaded there was plenty more people in that restaurant that probably could have not made it home this morning.”

Shaw himself spoke with KTVF on Sunday, after receiving treatment for his injuries. He said that he ran into the Waffle House to disarm the shooter when he tried to reload, sensing that it would be the only possible window to take action.

It’s clear that the police also regard Shaw as a life-saving hero. A spokesperson for the Metro Nashville police said as much on Sunday, as detailed by CNN.

“He is the hero here, and no doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and then tossing it over the counter and prompting the (gun)man to leave,” the spokesperson said.

On Sunday, police were still searching for the suspect in the shooting, Travis Reinking.

Chris Tognotti

Chris Tognotti

Chris Tognotti is a frequent contributor for the Daily Dot. He’s a news and current events writer based out of Berkeley, California, and a co-host of the podcast Now We Know. While he specializes in domestic politics and opinion writing, he’s also savvy on sports, video games, and film.