Meet James Shaw Jr, The Dude Who Rushed The Waffle House Shooter and Ripped The Gun Out Of His Hands

The Tennessean - James Shaw Jr. cried at least four times Sunday after a tragic morning where he wrestled a gun away from a shooter at an Antioch Waffle House.

The shooting left four dead and injured numerous others.

The first time Shaw Jr. cried was in an ambulance at 4 a.m. while he was transported to the hospital for a gunshot wound. One of the paramedics asked Shaw Jr. questions while checking his blood pressure.

“He asked if I had kids,” Shaw Jr. said. “I thought I could have possibly never seen my daughter again. That hurt.”

The 29-year-old’s actions are credited with saving numerous lives after the suspect, clothed in only a green jacket, opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at 3:25 a.m. at the Antioch Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike.


Everybody knows me – I fucking LOVE heroes.  Hero stories are my favorite.   Little cynical fact about the internet is that negative stories get way more clicks.  A profile on the scumbag shooter would be a pageview monster.  But I’ll take the dude that risked his life to save others 100 times out of 100.  Like James Shaw Jr.


Shaw Jr. found himself at the Murfreesboro Pike Waffle House after leaving a packed nearby Bell Road Waffle House. He and McMurry walked into the Murfreesboro Pike Waffle House at about 3:20 a.m.

Chaos broke out just minutes later.

Police say Travis Reinking, 29, opened fire at about 3:25 a.m. Shaw Jr. believed the noise came from one of the employees dropping dishes. He couldn’t recall how many shots there were, just that a man was on the floor.

Shaw Jr. said he jumped toward the bathroom and the suspect shot in that direction. He said he was grazed by a bullet.

“I remember I was like ‘Dang, I’m basically in a barrel,’ ” Shaw Jr. said. “There is no place for me to go.”

As the suspect came through the door, he needed to reload, Shaw Jr. said. That’s when he said he rushed him.

“I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill,” Shaw Jr. said. “I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him.”

He added: “I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar.”

He pushed the gunman out the door after a brief tussle. The man, naked from the waist down, walked away, Shaw Jr. said. He didn’t follow the shooter, fearing he had another gun.

Ran at a guy opening fire in a small enclosed restaurant, ripped the gun out of his hands while getting shot and burning the shit out of his hands, tossed it over the counter and threw the guy out of the door.  Unreal.

And his response?  He felt selfish.

Shaw Jr. rushed the gunman, grabbed the gun’s barrel, pulled it away and threw it over the Waffle House counter. He suffered a gunshot wound and burns from grabbing the gun’s barrel.

Shaw Jr. said he doesn’t feel like a hero.

He was only trying to stay alive.

“It feels selfish,” Shaw Jr. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”

Hey James, just a heads up.  I don’t think you have to worry about that.  I think the dozens of people who are still alive and can go home to their kids will forgive you for the selfish move of saving their lives by risking yours.

Especially with a 4 year old daughter at home.

Shaw Jr. is a family man. His 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn is always first on his mind. his sisters said.

The Nashville native and Hunter’s Lane High School graduate’s daughter was born in 2014 while he was a Tennessee State University student. He then studied at Brightwood College to get a degree as an electrician technician.

He works at AT&T and helps out small businesses, said Brittani Shaw, 34, who is James Shaw Jr.’s older sister.

Give James Shaw Jr. all the street names and a key to the city and free beers for life.