Waffle House Hero Intercepts Gunman

Samantha Brown, Features Editor

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On April 22nd at 3:30 AM, James Shaw Jr. boldly wrestled a loaded AR-15 out of a gunman’s hand at a Tennessee Waffle House.

James Shaw had a pretty normal life before the incident. Back in high school, he played basketball and football at Hunters Lane High. He continued his basketball career into his years at Tennessee college. He has a daughter of four years old named Brooklyn. After hearing about Shaw’s confrontation, a New York man decided to create a GoFundMe page for Shaw’s daughter college fund, which has raised over 2$25,000.

The gunman, Travis Reinking, started firing into the Waffle House just minutes after James Shaw went inside. Shaw describes, “When I first heard the gunshots immediately it’s like a what’s-going-on type of feeling, and I saw a gentleman near the door of the Waffle House.”

The gunman then entered the Waffle House and opened fire yet again. James ran toward the bathrooms, but then decided that was a bad idea. He and Reinking locked eyes, and the gunman slightly lowered the barrel. Then, Shaw jumped into action. “I was waiting for a chance, so when I saw the barrel down I saw an opportunity, and I attacked and took it and it worked out for myself and others who were in the Waffle House at same time,” Shaw describes.

After the confrontation, Reinking escaped into the nearby woods, where he was later arrested. In the days after Reinking’s arrest, he had his gun license revoked and the guns he already owned were taken away from him.

As if it couldn’t get any more tragic, all of the customers killed were under the age of 30.  Reinking killed four people, and injured four others. These people include Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Deebony Groves, 21; and Akilah Dasilva, 23, were killed at the scene, and were later remembered at a candlelight vigil in Nashville’s Centennial Park.

After the shooting, Waffle House employees were eager to open their doors again. When it was opened for the first time after the attack, it was decorated with orange ribbons and employees remembered those who were lost with tears in their eyes.

 

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Waffle House Hero Intercepts Gunman”

  1. Carlos Lozano on May 15th, 2018 3:12 pm

    James Shaw is a true here!

  2. hey on May 16th, 2018 10:24 am

    2$25000 (is that a typo in the 2nd paragraph)

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