It’s been nearly a year since the tragic mass shooting at a Nashville-based Waffle House occurred and the man who intervened and saved the lives of many individuals at the restaurant on that frightful day is still being honored for his heroic efforts. Tennessee native James Shaw Jr. was recognized at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards on Friday, the Tennessean reported.
The ceremony—which took place in Washington, D.C.—honored individuals and organizations who have displayed their dedication to providing support for victims of traumatic experiences. Survivors who have utilized their own journeys to empower others were also celebrated at the ceremony. Shaw was given the Special Courage Award. While Shaw was dining at the Waffle House on April 22, 2018 a gunman opened fire on restaurant patrons. Shaw sprung into action and fought the gunman in an effort to get the weapon out of his hands and prevent him from shooting other people inside of the restaurant. Shaw was able to successfully disarm the gunman; a heroic action that saved lives. Four people were murdered and four others, including Shaw, were injured.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Shaw launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the families of the deceased. Leaders wanted to honor him not only for his heroism during the incident, but his dedication to helping the loved ones of those lost heal. “Risking his own life, Mr. Shaw acted swiftly and bravely after a gunman killed four people early one morning at a diner, saving the lives of many others. He then followed up his courageous action by delivering comfort and aid to wounded and traumatized victims,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “None of us knows how we would react in such a dangerous situation, but we can all be inspired by Mr. Shaw’s selflessness.”
Shaw has received awards and honors from educational institutions, organizations, and individuals. Tennessee State University has set up a scholarship fund in his name, BET gave him a Humanitarian Award, and he was honored with a Gold Vail Award by AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall L. Stephenson. He also was recognized by Steve Harvey and Ellen DeGeneres.