Just hours after he pried a rifle from a gunman who’d opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee, James Shaw Jr. launched a fundraiser to help the victims’ families.
The GoFundMe campaign, by Thursday afternoon, had raked in just under $165,000 – 11 times its goal – since the attack last Sunday left four people dead. That number is now over $212,000.
Meantime, the Antioch, Tennessee restaurant has pledged to donate all its proceeds for the next month to the families of the deceased and living victims.
And, a New York man launched an online fundraiser to benefit Shaw that had raised $175,000 from more than 5,500 donors. That number is now over $200,000.
Tennessee lawmakers this week also paid tribute to Shaw, 29, for his heroism and his compassion for the victims. The state General Assembly officially recognized his heroism along with his “penchant for honesty,” in a joint resolution.
“You are my hero,” state Rep. Jason Powell said, “and Tennessee’s hero.”
Ambushing a killer
Shaw was sitting with a friend at the Waffle House counter when the gunman wearing only a green jacket opened fire outside the diner, police said.
Shaw bolted from his seat and slid along the ground to the restroom, he said. He kept an eye out for the gunman and, as soon as there was a pause in the shooting, Shaw ambushed him.
“I figured, if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” he told reporters last Sunday.
Shaw charged at the man with the rifle and they tussled for what felt like a minute, Shaw said.
The barrel of the rifle was still hot when Shaw managed to wrestle it away, he said. He tossed it behind the counter, and the gunman fled.
The encounter left Shaw with a burn on his hand and a wound on his elbow where a bullet grazed it.
Nearly 36 hours later, police arrested alleged shooter Travis Reinking. He’s charged with four counts of criminal homicide. He also faces four counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful gun possession in the commission of a violent felony.