James Shaw Jr. is being a hailed a hero for ambushing and disarming the shooter that killed four people on Sunday at a Waffle House in Tennessee.
Shaw apparently wrestled the “assault-type weapon” away from the shooter, Travis Reinking, after monitoring his movements from his hiding place in the restroom. Shaw jumped into action when he saw Reinking pause.
“I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” Shaw told reporters Sunday.
His actions saved countless lives at the Nashville-area restaurant. By the time Shaw had taken the gun from Reinking, the suspect had fatally shot four people and injured several others.
The police are still on the hunt for the 29-year-old Reinking, who fled the scene naked. Authorities identified him as the shooter after discovering that the vehicle allegedly used by the gunman was registered in his name.
Shaw, 29, was grazed by a bullet on his elbow while struggling for the weapon, CNN reports. He also burned his right hand while grabbing the barrel of the weapon.
“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 gunman to leave,“ Metro Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said.
But Shaw told reporters that he didn’t consider himself a hero: “I did that completely out of a selfish act. I was completely doing it just to save myself. I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that,” he added.
His heroism also goes beyond his quick-thinking actions that saved lives. Shaw created a GoFundMe page Sunday to assist the victims of the shooting. He already surpassed the $15,000 fundraising goal.
“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 said.
Even more incredibly, Shaw went to church with his father that same Sunday morning just hours after confronting the gunman.
“I don’t think it really has hit me,” he told CNN.