James Shaw Jr, the man who took down the Waffle House gunman in Antioch, Tennessee, will be honored by Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama.
Last week, Shaw, 29, subdued the gunman at a Waffle House restaurant after the suspect shot and killed four people and injured three others.
He has been widely praised disarming the killer, 29-year-old Travis Reinking.
But Shaw continues to downplay his heroic actions, stating that he was simply trying to save himself.
“I know I saved other people. I have a 4-year-old daughter: I didn’t even think about her. In the midst of it, I was just trying to save myself. I acted in a blink of a second. When he reloaded his clip, that felt like 30 minutes. I looked at him, and he wasn’t looking at me. He just had the barrel down. It was like, ‘Do it now. Go now.’ I just took off,” Shaw told the New York Times.
Even though Shaw will not take credit for preventing further tragedy, local law enforcement stated that if it wasn’t for his intervention, many others could have died as well.
On Sunday, at around 3:25 a.m. Reinking attacked the Waffle House, just outside of Nashville. He charged the restaurant wearing nothing but a green jacket, and nothing below. He began his shooting rampage in the parking lot, using an AR-15 rifle.
Reinking took the lives of four people including on 29-year-old Waffle House employee, Taurean C. Sanderlin from Goodlettsville, Tennessee. He was shot while standing outside in the parking lot.
Three customers were also killed: Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville; Deebony Groves, 21, of Gallatin; and Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch.
Shaw was honored at the Tennessee Capitol on Tuesday, ABC News reported. State lawmakers praised him along his best friend, Brandon McMurry, who was with him at Waffle House when the shooting took place.
State Rep. Jason Powell called Shaw’s actions honorable and heroic:
“You were confronted with the most unspeakable evil imaginable and you acted with the utmost honor, heroism, imaginable. And I want to say, James Shaw Jr., you are my hero and you are Tennessee’s hero,” State Rep. Powell told Shaw, according to ABC.
Even though Shaw was able to save many lives, he still regrets not being able to save more.
“I never thought I would be in a room with all the eyes on me but, you know, I am very grateful to be here. All I can say is … this was a true test of a man. I do, once again, apologize to the people that lost loved ones, friends or family,” Shaw told the lawmakers.
Shaw’s friend, McMurry, also called him “a great man.” McMurry stated that he had tried to get Shaw to go hide in the bathroom during the shooting, but his friend refused.
“But he sometimes doesn’t listen to me, and this is by far the best time that you didn’t listen to me and I appreciate that,” McMurry told his friend during the ceremony.
President Trump has yet to comment publicly about the incident, which has bothered some people.
“President Trump, who, after the Florida school shooting in February said he would confront a mass shooter ‘even if I didn’t have a weapon,’ has yet to utter a public peep about someone who actually did,” wrote Leonard Greene in a New York Daily News op-ed.
Shaw’s heroic actions did not end with the shooting. Following the tragedy, he started a GoFundMe campaign in order to assist the families of the victims. As of Friday, the fund has raised more than $170,000.
Shaw has also gone to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to visit survivors that are being treated there.
Journalist Yashar Ali was so inspired by Shaw’s kind actions that he decided to set up another GoFundMe campaign, this time to help Shaw’s young daughter, Brooklyn. This campaign has already surpassed its $175,000 goal by nearly $10,000.
“I normally don’t get involved directly in these matters, but James’ grace has inspired me to start this page and give him the support I feel he deserves,” the New York Magazine and HuffPost writer noted in the page’s description.
“According to news reports, James has a 4-year-old daughter. Perhaps this money can be used for her college fund or some other education-related expense,” Ali wrote. “But I’d be just as happy if James used some of this money to take his family on a nice vacation.”
(H/T: Christian Post)