Not all heroes wear capes, the saying goes, but someone should probably send one to James Shaw Jr., the hero who saved lives when he wrestled the gun away from the shooter at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee earlier this month. Not only did he risk his own life to charge — unarmed — at the shooter, he is continuing to help the victims by using his media attention to fundraise for them.
Shaw’s elbow was grazed by a bullet and his hands were burned when he grabbed the hot barrel of the gun, which he wrenched away from the shooter and tossed over the counter. The shooter then fled the scene and was arrested several days later. Four people were killed and four others were wounded, two of whom remain hospitalized.
After Shaw’s injuries were treated and he was released from the hospital, he went home and got cleaned up, changed his clothes, and went to church with his father. He has repeatedly told reporters he does not view himself as a hero, and was merely acting out of self-preservation, but the fact remains that his courageous actions ended the shooting and undoubtedly saved lives.
Shortly after the shooting, Shaw launched a GoFundMe page to benefit these victims with an initial goal of $15,000. According to a report by CBS News, that goal was “quickly surpassed…amassing more than 4,000 contributors and 10 times the starting point within three days.”
Currently, the page has over $170,000 in contributions. The Waffle House where the shooting occurred has also reopened, and the proceeds from the next 30 days of sales will also go to the victims, according to a Waffle House spokesman.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.