James Shaw Jr., the man who’s being hailed as a hero for stopping a crazed gunman who killed four people at a Waffle House in Nashville on Sunday, described in an interview with NBC’s “Today” Monday morning how he managed to disarm the shooter.
“When I first heard the gunshots, immediately it was like a ‘What’s going on?’ feeling,” Shaw said in the interview. “And then I looked back and I saw a gentleman at the door of the Waffle House. I kind of jumped from the high countertop seats … towards the bathrooms.”
But Shaw quickly realized that running to the bathrooms was a “bad idea,” and seeing that he had nowhere to go, he decided to fight. “I was just kind of like, ‘He’s going to get us or get me anyway,’ so I was just waiting for an opportunity, I was just waiting for a chance,” he explained, and he finally got that chance when the shooter momentarily dropped the barrel of his gun.
“When I saw the barrel down, I saw my opportunity and I attacked,” Shaw said. He further explained how the door to the Waffle House helped him commandeer the gun. “When I ran through the swivel door, the swivel door acted like another … hit, another layer, and it pushed the gun down, so the barrel of the gun actually bumped down and it was aimed towards the ground. Once it was aimed towards the ground, I held the gun down I think with my left hand, and I was either punching or hitting or whatever I was doing with my right hand. And then once he released it — at one point in time he had it in one hand. When he had it in one hand, I just took it from him with both my hands and then I threw it over the countertop.”
Once the gunman – who was also nude except for a jacket – was disarmed, Shaw “took him and myself out of the Waffle House, because I knew my best chance of surviving was outside.”
“I did learn that he did actually have other magazines in his gun, and he could’ve reloaded. I’m glad I acted.” Hero customer James Shaw Jr. tells @craigmelvin about the moments he wrestled the gun away from Waffle House shooter pic.twitter.com/p0tN5EtdiC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 23, 2018
Shaw further explained what happened – and how he stopped the gunman – in a press conference Monday.
However, despite the fact that Shaw’s actions undoubtedly saved more lives, he insists he’s “not a hero.” “I’m just a regular person,” he said.
Shaw suffered a graze wound from a gunshot and a second-degree burn on his hand when he grabbed the barrel of the rifle, but he’s otherwise doing fine – and he hopes he fellow survivors recover in kind. “I’m glad that they’re still alive, but what I really want to see is when they’re back on their feet and their normal lives and everything,” he said.
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