James Shaw Jr. Saved Lives By Wrestling Gun From Waffle House Terrorist

by Ellyce Ferguson

April 24, 2018

Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Image

Four innocent people were shot and killed in a senseless shooting spree at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday. All of the victims – Akila Dasilva, DeEbony Groves, Joe Perez, and Taurean Sanderlin – were in their 20s, and were also people of color. Groves was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a senior at Belmont University.

Many more lives would’ve been lost if it wasn’t for the selfless bravery of James Shaw Jr., who put his own life on the line to stop the shooter.

The terrorist, Travis Reinking, went into the restaurant at 3:30 AM wearing nothing but a green jacket, carrying an AR-15 gun and opened fire. Shaw Jr. saw an opportunity to ambush the gunman and took it. He was able to wrestle the gun from the shooter’s possession.

“I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it,” said the 29-year-old, according to CNN. “I’m not a hero, I’m just a regular person. I chose to react because I didn’t see any other way of me living.”

Reinking fled the scene and was found on Monday after a manhunt. The gunman has a criminal history of crossing the White House border and previously had his guns taken away from him due to mental health issues. He is now being held on a $2 million bond, $500,000 for each person he murdered, according to News One.

Black men are rarely given the same consideration or even a chance to live when police believe they are a threat. Just last month a 22-year-old black man, Stephon Clark, was gunned down when police mistook his cell phone for a weapon. This is exactly why it’s so difficult for people of color to have faith in the criminal justice system.

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