Waffle House Hero Raises $227,000 for Victims of April Mass Shooting

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Credit: Flickr, Shawn Ishihara

Not only did he risk his own life to save others, James Shaw Jr. went on to help the victims financially.

The 29-year-old was widely heralded as a hero after he leaped into action during a lull in a mass shooting last month. He was at the Nashville, Tennessee, Waffle House on April 22 when a naked gunman entered. Four people were killed and others were injured as Shaw sought shelter in a restroom. When he heard the gunshots stop momentarily, he jumped in and disarmed the attacker. The gunman, identified by police as Travis Reinking, was able to escape. He was captured after a short manhunt, though, and is expected to face a litany of charges.

​A hero to everyone but himself

Shaw has remained modest about his own actions that fateful day. Though he said he was just trying to save his life, others say they owe him theirs. And his outreach continued after the shooting with an online fundraiser. He sought to raise $15,000 in donations to help the victims. Thanks to the kindness of others, he shattered that goal by raising nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

“I am overwhelmed.”

Shaw gives the credit and his gratitude to those who accepted his challenge to give.

“To the thousands of people who have expressed their care, prayers and made financial donations, I can only respond by saying, ‘Thank you.’”

Credit: Flickr, Victoria Pickering

A suspect is in custody.

Though Shaw was likely able to save multiple lives that day, a gunman managed to destroy families with his deadly act. His public defender is seeking a mental evaluation prior to the start of his trial. A judge has approved the request. Reinking is expected to appear in court for a status hearing in three weeks. 

Regardless of the outcome, it goes without saying that Shaw is a hero. Despite the devastation of that day, Shaw's selflessness saved lives and is now helping to rebuild them.

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