Twenty-nine-year-old James Shaw Jr. said he doesn’t feel like a hero even though his actions saved numerous lives on Sunday.

Around 3 a.m., police received a call about an active shooter at a Waffle House near Nashville, Tennessee, reports CBS.

Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois, 29, arrived at the restaurant in his pick-up truck and shot people outside the Waffle House with his AR-15. He then went inside the restaurant and more shots were fired.

As BBC reports, Shaw was inside the restaurant and heard gunshots. He ran for cover and hid in the restaurant’s bathroom until Reinking shot through the door and a bullet wounded his arm.

Shaw told Today:

“When I first heard the gun shots immediately it’s like a what’s-going-on type of feeling, and I saw a gentleman near the door of the Waffle House and I jumped from the high counter top seats and jumped toward the bathrooms.

The bathrooms seemed like a bad idea — kind of like shooting fish in a barrel.”

Fearing for his life, Shaw decided to wrestle down the shooter. He told BBC:

“It was at that time that I kind of made up my mind — because there’s no way to lock that door — that if it was going to come down to it he was gonna have to work to kill me.”

When the gunman paused to look at his weapon, Shaw saw an opportunity to charge the shooter and yank the gun out of his hands.

He said:

“I hit him with the door and the gun was kind of jammed up. I grabbed it from him and I threw it over the counter top.”

After a struggle, Shaw eventually removed the rifle from Reinking, and he fled the scene.

Shaw told reporters at a press conference:

“I was completely doing it just to save myself. I did save other people, but I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that.”

Though he’s being hailed a hero, he doesn’t consider himself one. He told the Tennessean:

“It feels selfish. I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”

According to CBS, Travis Reinking suffers from mental illness, and had been arrested back in July 2017 for entering a restricted area of the White House.

Secret service agent Todd Hudson said he requested a meeting with President Trump.

After the White House incident, the gunman’s four firearms were confiscated by police. However Reinking’s father told police that he gave the AR-15 back to his son.

Nashville Police Department

Four people were killed in the shooting and at least four others were injured.

Shaw told NBC that the victims he couldn’t save weigh heavily on his heart:

“I’m thinking of the other victims, the ones who have passed. I hope people are just as concerned about them as they are about me.”

Police and FBI issued a murder warrant for Travis Reinking and he was put on the FBI’s most wanted list. Authorities warned that Reinking was armed and offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest.

According to CNN, he has now been taken into custody.

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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