Waffle House Shooting: Man Who Disarmed Alleged Gunman Travis Reinking Hailed as 'Tennessee's Hero'
"He 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 man to leave," Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said of James Shaw Jr.
The man credited with disarming the alleged Waffle House shooter has been honored by Tennessee lawmakers for his bravery.
In an emotional ceremony Tuesday, James Shaw Jr. was dubbed "Tennessee's Hero" by state Rep. Jason Powell.
"You were confronted with the most unspeakable evil imaginable and you acted with the utmost honor, heroism imaginable," Powell told Shaw, according to ABC News. "And I want to say, James Shaw Jr., you are my hero and you are Tennessee's hero."
Shaw's friend, Brandon McMurry was similarly honored for his role in helping stop the nude gunman who'd entered the Nashville-area restaurant early Sunday and opened fire with an AR-15, killing four.
"Thank you to you for your heroic act," Rep. Brenda Gilmore, a Nashville Democrat, said to Shaw and McMurry. "You both have shown the world how we handle tragedy."
Shaw said he didn’t have time to think when he saw an opportunity to stop the man.
"His gun either got jammed or he was trying to reload, not exactly sure," Shaw told WTVF. "But I saw my opportunity in my window, so I took it and I ran through the door as fast as I can and just kind of jammed him up with the gun with it pointed down and then we started wrestling for it, scuffling and fighting for it."
Shaw said he was able to get the gun and toss it out of reach and the gunman eventually fled on his own.
"If I let him load that weapon… it wasn't going to be another chance," Shaw said. "There was nowhere to go."
Shaw suffered burns as he grabbed the gun and is recovering. His hand was bandaged as he gave the interview.
"He 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 man to leave," Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.
The suspect, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, was arrested Monday afternoon. He's since been charged with four counts of criminal homicide.
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