Tragedy struck the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville early Sunday morning when an armed man shot two individuals outside of a Waffle House before proceeding inside and killing two more.
In the face of that horror, reports the Tennessean, one Waffle House customer, 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., managed to wrestle an AR-15 rifle free from the shooter and likely saved lives in the process.
Now, although Shaw is quick to brush the claim aside, he is being hailed as a hero.
James Shaw Jr. was identified as the hero who helped stop the Waffle House shooter this morning. He says he doesn’t feel like a hero, which is exactly what you’d expect a real hero to say. https://t.co/0N08omw80u
— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) April 22, 2018
“I don’t really know, when everyone said that (of being a hero), it feels selfish,” the Tennessean reports Shaw as saying. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”
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But the local police very much agree with the term "hero."
"[Shaw] 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," CNN reports Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron saying.
Investigation on going at the Waffle House. Scene being processed by MNPD experts. This is the rifle used by the gunman. pic.twitter.com/lihhRImHQN
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) April 22, 2018
Many on Twitter have praised Shaw, and noted that — contrary to the oft-repeated claims of the NRA — he was unarmed when he managed to stop the attacker.
The only thing that stopped the Waffle House shooter was a good guy with no gun.
— Allan Brauer (@allanbrauer) April 22, 2018
The waffle house shooting shows up the NRA's argument that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, no it doesn't it just takes a good guy #JamesShaw#hero. When are the politicians going to act to stop these killings #GunReformNow#GunControlNow
— attilla the hun (@Attilla_dehun) April 22, 2018
Myth: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun Reality: An unarmed civilian stops the Nashville Waffle house shooter
Bravo Mr. James Shaw jr.
You are as brave as it gets! pic.twitter.com/SsTKPOBR8V
— Kanisha J (@KaniJJackson) April 22, 2018
Meanwhile, Shaw remains humble.
"I don't want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that," CNN reports him as saying. "I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it."
The alleged shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, has yet to be apprehended.
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