Early Sunday morning (April 22) a gunman opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee, taking the lives of four people and injuring several others.
As reported, the gunman, a white male who allegedly fled the scene only wearing a green bomber jacket, was interrupted when a 29-year-old patron, identified as James Shaw Jr., saw a window of opportunity to wrestle the gun out of the hands of the shooter and instinctively took it, saving the lives of many.
Shaw Jr. intervened while the shooting was taking place, tackling the man and throwing his AR-15 assault rifle over the counter. People across the country have since taken to social media to deem him a hero, noting how his selfless and brave actions saved the lives of multiple customers.
"When he came in, I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill," Shaw Jr. shared with local reporters at the Tennessean. "I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him. I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar."
Following the incident, which took place around 3:25AM, the alleged shooter Travis Reinking, a 29-year-old white male, promptly fled the premises. At the time of this report, police are actively looking for him, with warrants out for his arrest in connection with the shooting.
While intervening in the shooting, Shaw Jr. was grazed by a bullet and later was treated for his injuries at an area hospital.
"While I was in hospital, a girl that was there said you saved my life," he added. "I didn't do it to be hero."
See how people across the U.S. are reacting to news of the incident and the heroic actions of James Shaw Jr., below.
This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.— Waffle House News (@WaffleHouseNews) April 22, 2018
'I don't know if it's hit me yet,' 29-year-old Waffle House hero recounts shooting.https://t.co/BdePOcAy73— Tennessean (@Tennessean) April 22, 2018
My heart goes out to those affected by the Waffle House shooting in Nashville. This doesn’t just happen in schools, it happens everywhere. Clear backpacks wouldnt have prevented this.— Sarah Chadwick (@Sarahchadwickk) April 22, 2018
James Shaw Jr. was identified as the hero who helped stop the Waffle House shooter this morning. He says he doesn’t feel like a hero, which is exactly what you’d expect a real hero to say. https://t.co/0N08omw80u— Jon Henshaw (@henshaw) April 22, 2018
I’m just disgusted by America at this point... any one of our family members or friends could’ve easily been in that Waffle House. You can’t even go out to eat.. this is scary— Jazzy Lo 💋 (@JazzyLoRadio) April 22, 2018
Aurora: AR-15— Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) April 22, 2018
Las Vegas: AR-15
Sandy Hook: AR-15
Texas Church: AR-15
San Bernardino: AR-15
Waffle House: AR-15
The only ones who don’t see where the problem is are Republicans.
Remember this hero, not the shooter.— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 22, 2018
He tackled and disarmed the man who opened fire on Waffle House and was responsible for saving countless lives. https://t.co/bP72CRyqEd
Please tell me how clear backpacks, security guards, or armed teachers would’ve prevented the murders done with an AR 15 at the Waffle House in Nashville.— Emilia (@PoliticalEmilia) April 22, 2018
Shootings happen EVERYWHERE, not just in schools.
Let’s call it like it is:
America has a GUN PROBLEM.
Disturbed white shooter opens fire on victims with AR-15 and would’ve killed more if he wasn’t disarmed by an unarmed black hero. The Waffle House/James Shaw Jr story totally dismantles the right-wing fantasy that white good guys with guns are saving us from a minority hellscape.— Adam Best (@adamcbest) April 22, 2018
This is 29 year old James Shaw. He tackled and disarmed the suspected white supremacist terrorist Travis Reinking who shot up a Waffle House in Antioch Tn. This is a real American hero. He saved many lives pic.twitter.com/nrEULqh89O— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) April 22, 2018
This mornings shooting at a Waffle House here in TN, by Travis Reinking, was carried out using an AR-15 the same weapon used by so many mass shooters of late! It doesn’t matter if he was butt-ass naked or in a damn tuxedo nobody needs a fucking AR-15 in America!— LiberalLecter⚓️ (@LiberalLecter) April 22, 2018
Holy Shit Balls
Only in Tennessee is it infinitely easier for a mentally ill, violent white supremacist to buy an AR-15 than it is to buy wine on a Sunday. This Waffle House shooting is on the Tennessee state lawmakers who care so little for people’s lives. pic.twitter.com/BzRQuRzRRv— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 22, 2018
Aurora, Colorado - 12 dead— Simar (@sahluwal) April 22, 2018
Newton, Connecticut - 27 dead
San Bernardino- 14 dead
Las Vegas, Nevada - 58 dead
Sutherland, Texas - 26 dead
Parkland, Florida - 17 dead
Pulse, Florida - 49 dead
Waffle House in Tennessee - 4 dead
One common dominator - AR-15. Ban assault rifles now.