One crowded Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, led Nashville resident James Shaw Jr. to the restaurant where a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning, killing four people. Shaw acted quickly to disarm the gunman and toss the rifle over the counter at the Antioch restaurant, an action police said saved several lives, The Tennessean reported.
Shaw, 29, a graduate of Tennessee State University, said he was at a fraternity house party on Saturday night and decided to go to a Waffle House with some friends, the newspaper reported.
The restaurant on Bell Road in Antioch was crowded when Shaw and his friends arrived at 2:30 a.m., so they decided to go to the one on Murfreesboro Pike, which was two miles away, the Tennessean reported.
They arrived at the second Waffle House at 3:20 a.m., shortly before the shooting began.
According to his Facebook page, Shaw is a wire technician for AT&T. At a news conference Sunday afternoon, he said that he was born and raised in Nashville and has a 4-year-old daughter.
“I think I’m a pretty cool guy,” he told reporters.
Shaw began receiving messages on social media, lauding him for his quick action.
“You are my hero!” Jackie Thames posted on Facebook. “You are so brave and your daughter has just another reason to be proud! Thank you for saving lives sir! The world is a better place with you in it ♡”
“Thank you for your act of bravery,” Kelly Tate posted. “You are an angel to those whose lives you saved. God bless you!”