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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Legislature presented the man who wrestled the weapon away from the Antioch Waffle House gunman with a resolution Tuesday to honor him for his heroic actions.
James Shaw Jr. is considered a hero by many for stopping the Waffle House shooting suspect after he killed four people and injured four others in the shooting early Sunday morning.
When Shaw entered the floor of the House with his friend Brennan McMurry, lawmakers rose to give them a standing ovation.
Amid a sea of lawmakers, along with family and friends huddled by him, the AT&T electrician heard the words that so many in the world are thinking.
“I want to say James Shaw Jr., that you are my hero, and you are Tennessee’s hero,” said Nashville lawmaker Jason Powell.
Then it was time for more words from the young man who has honored countless requests to tell what happened in those life-changing seconds at an Antioch Waffle House early Sunday morning.
“All I can say is this was the true test of a man,” said Shaw as tears rolled down the side of his face. “And I do once again, apologize to the people who lost loved ones, friends and family.”
“I did not do it to actually save people. I did it to save my life,” he said again before the packed House chambers.
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But he knows that saving his life first saved others.
“I know that’s probably one of the greatest things you could do, that is all I have to say,” added Shaw before more applause and handshake after handshake from lawmakers.
Then came time to laugh–a little bit–before reporters.
It came at the expense of Shaw’s friend, B.J. McMurray, who was with the young father Tuesday at the capitol, and Sunday during those awful moments at the Waffle House.
“So there was one point yesterday, he asked me to go get him something and I said, ‘Why can’t you go get it?’ and I said, ‘I saved your life’ and he said, ‘Is that what I am going to hear the rest of my life?’ Yes, you are going to hear that the rest of your life.'”
Shaw has been asked so many questions from all over the world since he wrestled the AR-15 from the suspected shooter.
While the 29-year-old could laugh a little, the sadness of seeing four people die has forever changed his life and given him a new cause.
“I want to try and use this moment that I am in as a platform to bring awareness of shootings and violence—it’s totally different when you are in it,” said the young hero when asked what is next.
Here is the resolution in Shaw’s honor, called SJR 978:
The history of Tennessee is teaming with heroes, from those who courageously served in combat to those whose humanitarian acts made possible a brighter future.
But the story of one everyday hero is especially moving and inspiring. And whereas his modest protestations to the contrary, James Shaw, Jr. of Nashville is most decidedly a hero.
And whereas in the early morning hours of April 22, 2018, an assailant armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire on the patrons and employees of the Waffle House restaurant located in the Antioch community of Metro Nashville.
And whereas this heinous, cowardly act resulted in the deaths of 4 people and injuries to several others, including 2 people seriously injured by gunshot. But the aftermath would surely have been much greater if not for the heroic actions of James Shaw, Jr.
And whereas showing no concern for his personal safety James Shaw, Jr. rushed the assailant and grabbed the gun’s barrel, after wrestling the firearm from the assailant’s control he flung it over the counter, removing the possibility of the gun being used to do even more harm.
And whereas Mr. Shaw then pushed the assailant out the front door, and after a brief tussle the gunman fled the scene on foot.
Mr. Shaw suffered a gunshot wound and burns from grasping the gun’s barrel during the melee.
And whereas no matter his motivations, Mr. Shaw is indeed a hero. His actions on that fateful morning are unfathomable to most, indescribable why even the Chief of Police and very poignant to the citizens of Nashville, who are very grateful for his brave actions in the face of extreme adversity that saved many lives.
And whereas if a hero is a person noted for courageous acts, or noteably of character, then James Shaw, Jr. is a hero twice over for he has given of his courage and character in a manner few could ever attempt to emulate.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate of the 110 General Assembly, the House of Representatives concurring that we honor and commend James Shaw, Jr. for his heroic actions on the morning of April 22, 2018 that saved the lives of many of his fellow Nashvillians and extend him our best wishes for success in his future endeavors.
The resolution was sponsored by Representative Brenda Gilmore in conjunction with the Davidson County Legislative Delegation and House Speaker Beth Harwell.
Shaw is also doing more. He has set up a GoFundMe account set up for the victims that has raised more than $100,000.