On Sunday morning, when shots rang out at a Waffle House restaurant, James Shaw Jr. ran for cover, taking refuge in a restroom. Shaw, 29, made sure to never lose sight of the gunman, and when the shooter paused for a moment, according to local law enforcement, Shaw took action.
The shooting took place at a Waffle House in the Nashville area. The gunman killed four people in the early morning attack, but Shaw’s actions may have saved multiple lives.
“[Shaw] saw the gunman looking at his rifle,” said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department. “At that point, the shots stopped.”
“So, he decided to rush the gunman, actually wrestled that assault rifle away, tossed it over the counter,” Aaron continued. “At that point, the gunman fled.”
Shaw suffered minor injuries as he ambushed the gunman, including some cuts and an injury to his elbow, according to a report by CNN.
“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,” Aaron added.
Chuck Cordero witnessed the events from outside of the Waffle House, which had the traditionally large windows common to the restaurant chain.
Cordero was about to enter the restaurant when shots rang out.
“I was very lucky,” said Cordero. “Where I usually sit, one woman was killed, and another was shot.”
“I was very fortunate to have not gone into the Waffle House and sat in my car.”
As Cordero ran from the area, “I looked back, and there was a gentleman wrestling with the gunman,” said Cordero.
“He was a hero… had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there was plenty more people in that restaurant.”
The shooter managed to escape from the scene, and a manhunt ensued. The suspect has been identified as Travis Reinking, 29.
According to police, the gunman arrived at the restaurant in a vehicle registered to Reinking.
After fleeing the scene, the suspect ditched his jacket, which, according to Aaron, had two additional magazines for an AR-15.
“He clearly came armed with a lot of firepower, intending to devastate the south Nashville area,” Aaron added.