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Customer saves countless lives by disarming mass shooter in Waffle House


Another mass shooting was added to the growing statistics of United States. The most recent incident happened at a local Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday morning. Gunshots tore the friendly atmosphere of the restaurant and some customers scrammed and others hid out of sight of the attacker.

This is exactly what the 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. did when he heard the gunshots. He ran and hid in the restroom. However, he kept an eye and an ear out for the gunman. And at the moment that the shooter paused, Shaw jumped and ambushed him.


Shaw wrestled with the gunman who was later identified as Travis Reinking and successfully disarmed the mass shooter. There was a struggle between the two and a bullet grazed Shaw’s elbow in the process. Shaw also burned his right hand when he grabbed the barrel of the weapon, which the police identified as an “assault-type rifle”.

travis reinking Twitter | Metro Nashville PD

According to the Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron, Reinking arrived at the Waffle House parking lot in Antioch around 3 a.m. local time. He exited his truck and began firing an AR-15 at two people outside the restaurant. He then went inside the restaurant and opened fire.

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Shaw “saw the gunman looking at his rifle. At that point, the shots had stopped. So he decided to rush the gunman, actually wrestled that assault rifle away, tossed it over the counter. At that point, the gunman then fled.”

DbZHcClVAAAsYRB Twitter | Metro Nashville PD

Unfortunately, the incident left four dead. The suspect is still at large and is armed and dangerous.

“We suspect some mental issues but at this time there’s [sic] no notes, no verbal explanations so we don’t have a motive at this time,” the Nashville police said.

Everybody called Shaw a hero that day. A witness to the incident saw the events unfolded through the Waffle House massive windows. Chuck Cordero saw Shaw wrestling with the suspect.

“He was a hero … had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there was [sic] plenty more people in that restaurant,” Cordero said.

Meanwhile, Shaw explained that his action is merely a selfish act. “I did that completely out of a selfish act. I was completely doing it just to save myself. I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that. I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” he said.


Shaw added that he felt uneasy that the gunman escaped that day, but that did not stop him from attending the mass hours after he grappled with the mass shooter.

Shaw explained that it does not feel real to him yet. However, he knew that it will take time and some professional help to get over what he has been through.

During a TV interview, Shaw became emotional when he thought about the four people that died in the incident. He apologized that he was unable to save them. He let the families of the victims know that he wants to keep in touch with them to know they are fine.

Shaw also set up a GoFundMe page for the benefit of the families of the victims. The goal is to raise $15,000, and Shaw had already raised over $7,000 as of 11:30 p.m. Sunday.


After the tragedy, Shaw is grateful he survived to see his 4-year-old daughter again. He wants her to grow up in a world with less tragedy.

“I hope we can bring violence in all facets — not just gun violence, but all facets of violence — to an end,” he said.

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