Like a true hero, James Shaw Jr. lamented that he could not prevent the Waffle House shooter from taking any innocent lives. Shaw’s thoughts are with the families of the victims.
He launched a GoFundMe campaign for the families that reached more than $16,000 by early Monday morning, surpassing its $15,000 goal within 12 hours.
Meanwhile, federal and local investigator were hunting for Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old White man accused of killing four people and wounding four others at the Waffle House restaurant near Nashville on Sunday.
After sitting in a truck for a few minutes, Reinking came out of the vehicle with an assault rifle and killed two people outside the Waffle House, the police said. He allegedly entered the restaurant and continued firing, killing two more people inside. The slaughter would have continued if Shaw didn’t swoop into action.
Shaw hid in a restroom when the shooter opened fire, waiting until the barrage of gunfire paused before tackling Reinking and wrestling the weapon out of the shooter’s hands. The gunman ran away, so far evading capture.
“I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” Shaw told reporters Sunday.
Shaw, 29, has a lot to live for, especially seeing his 4-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, grow up, his older sister, Brittani Shaw, told the Tennessean. He’s a Nashville native who attended Tennessee State University. Shaw, the youngest of three children in his family, is an electrician technician for AT&T.
“There’s four families that are grieving right now. So much life was lost for no reason. I feel like it could be very selfish of me if I didn’t point it out. And I apologize,” he told WXMV-TV.
Authorities identified the victims as Taurean C. Sanderlin, Akilah Dasilva, Joe R. Perez, and DeEbony Groves.
Sanderlin, 29, was a Waffle House employee—one of the people shot outside the restaurant. Perez, 20, was also outside the restaurant when he was killed. His mother posted on Facebook that “today is the hardest day of my life. Me, my husband and sons are broken right now with this loss. Our lives are shattered.”
Groves, a 21-year-old student at Belmont University, was on the dean’s list and remembered as an outstanding basketball player.She was out with her Delta Sigma Theta sorority sisters that evening. And 23-year-old Dasilva was a student at Middle Tennessee State University where he studied musical engineering.
Shaw plans to keep in touch with the families, he told the Tennessean. “I would love to talk to you and know that you’re OK,” he added.