James Shaw Jr. was honored at the TN Capitol on Tuesday. (WSMV)
James Shaw Jr. was injured during the attack. (Source: James Shaw Jr.)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –
The man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter was honored as a hero Tuesday at the Tennessee state legislature.
James Shaw Jr. said he was appreciative and thankful, and he wants to use this time to bring more awareness to gun violence.
He stood with his family and friends at the Capitol as Tennessee legislators recognized him for his heroism during the deadly Waffle House shooting in Antioch.
“It means a lot. I’ve never experienced this gratitude and appreciation, such an honor nowhere near this magnitude before. So, it means a lot to me,” said Shaw.
By his side on that fateful Sunday was Shaw’s best friend Brennan McMurry who told people to hide in the bathroom, but Shaw didn’t.
“My wife was in utter disbelief that that could have happened to her husband,” said McMurry. “We just got married in November. So, if you think about that and the fact that I may not even have made my six-month anniversary, it’s a very, very scary thought.”
Some light-hearted moments between Shaw and McMurry helped ease the trauma following the tragedy.
“I’ll tell you at one point yesterday, I think I asked him to go get me something, and he was like ‘why can’t you go get it?’ And then I said “I saved your life.’ Then he was like ‘That’s what I’m going to hear the rest of your life?’ And I said ‘Yeah,’” said Shaw amidst laughter in the crowd.
Shaw remains thankful to see his family again, checking in with both victims recovering in the hospital.
“(Sharita Henderson), she definitely remembered me. She smiled as soon as I walked through the door and thanked me so much,” said Shaw. “Her dad was there, and he thanked me. It was just an emotional situation.”
Shaw said he’s working with Waffle House to turn money raised through his GoFundMe account into a trust fund for the families of the victims killed. As of 7:30 p.m. on April 24, almost $120,000 has been donated.
Shaw said he’s also aware there are possible scam accounts out there, and he’s working to make sure any other fundraising accounts are truly to benefit those families who lost loved ones.
Shaw has been reluctant to call himself a hero, even though police have said he saved many lives.
The mayor of Nashville and the CEO of Waffle House both sung his praises the day he wrestled an AR-15 out of the gunman’s hands, burning his own hands on the gun barrel. He was also grazed by a bullet during the attack.
MUST-SEE VIDEO: News4’s full interview with James Shaw Jr.
RELATED STORY: Police say man saved many lives by stopping gunman in Waffle House shooting
Shaw was honored with a resolution on the House floor at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Click here to watch the full video.
"It means a lot to me. It’s a life-changing moment, and I’m going to try to use this moment as a platform to bring awareness to shootings and just violence," Shaw said.
The resolution reads, "If a hero is ‘a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character,’ then James Shaw Jr. is a hero twice over, for he has demonstrated both his courage and character in a manner few could ever attempt to emulate."
Shaw is a Nashville native. He graduated from Hunters Lane High School and attended Tennessee State University.
Click here to read the full text of the resolution in Shaw’s honor.
Shaw has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the other victims of the shooting. Click here for more information.
A New York man who was moved by Shaw’s heroism has set up a GoFundMe account in Shaw’s honor. He wrote, "I normally don’t get involved directly in these matters, but James’ grace has inspired me to start this page to give him the support I feel he deserves. 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. But I’d be just as happy if James used some of this money to take his family on a nice vacation." Click here for more information.
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