The man who thwarted the deadly rampage inside a Tennessee Waffle House by a half-naked gunman last month was honored today by his alma mater.
James Shaw Jr., the 29-year-old AT&T worker and father of a 4-year-old girl, was feted on Monday by Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover for his “bravery and courage” and a scholarship was established in his name.
Shaw was inside a Waffle House near Nashville on April 22 when authorities claim Travis Reinking, also 29, targeted the eatery during the pre-dawn hours and shot four people to death with an AR-15 rifle.
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According to the Metropolitan Nashville Police, 29-year-old Waffle House employee Taurean Sanderlin, 20-year-old Joe Perez, 23-year-old Akilah Dasilva and 21-year-old Deebony Grove were killed in the attack.
Four others were wounded by either fired bullets or shattered glass.
Shaw hid behind a door near the Waffle House’s bathroom as he eyed the gunman reloading his weapon.
He then confronted Reinking and wrested control of his gun, tossing it over the counter, Shaw told ABC News.
Disarmed, Reinking then ran off and dropped his coat, leaving him completely naked, authorities aid. The coat, authorities confirmed later, was loaded with more ammunition. He was captured a day later. He faces four counts of attempted homicide and one count of using a firearm while committing a dangerous felony.
Authorities believe Reinking would have killed or wounded more had Shaw not stepped in. But Shaw has refused to call himself a hero, saying he only took on the gunman to save his own life.
After the heroics, Shaw set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for the families of the victims. As of Tuesday, almost $231,000 had been donated.
After receiving the accolades from his university, Shaw told reporters he wanted to unplug and possibly take a family adventure.