Waffle House shooting hero crowdfunds thousands for victims’ families

A 29-year-old man who was hailed a hero after he successfully disarmed a shooter who allegedly opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House early Sunday has now raised over $95,000 for the victims’ families.

James Shaw Jr. said he created a GoFundMe page “to help the families of the victims” after suspect Travis Reinking allegedly gunned down patrons at the Antioch restaurant.

“Please take the time to donate as all of the proceeds will be given to the families. Thank you again for your generosity and blessings!” he wrote on the fundraising site.

As of Tuesday afternoon, he raised nearly $100,000 — well over the initial $15,000 goal.

“Mr. Shaw is a standup guy and I am donating to honor his effort to stay alive. He helped others by doing so,” one donor wrote.

“Hope, healing and love to you all. Thank you for all you’ve done, James,” another added.

James Shaw Jr. muestra su mano que resultó lesionada cuando desarmó al atacante dentro del restaurante Waffle House en Nashville, Tennessee, el domingo 22 de abril de 2018.  La policía dice que Shaw es un héroe que salvo vidas en el restaurante. Cuatro personas murieron y cuatro resultaron heridas en el ataque a tiros, según la policía. (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean vía AP)

James Shaw Jr. wrestled the gun away from the suspected shooter early Sunday.  (The Tennessean via AP)

Shaw, an electrician and father to a 4-year-old girl, wrestled the gun away from the suspected shooter. The gunman, who fired outside of the restaurant, took a moment to reload his gun just after he entered the Waffle House, according to The New York Times. That’s when Shaw attacked the suspect, seizing the rifle and tossing it over the restaurant’s countertop. The suspected gunman then fled the scene but was later arrested in a wooded area near his home.

Four people were killed in the shooting, though there likely could have been more victims had it not been for Shaw’s heroic act.

“When I saw my window of opportunity I just took it,” Shaw told Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning, adding that he initially started the fundraiser for the families of the victims who were lost in the shooting but “plans on helping out the ones who are still in the hospital,” he said.

“[The money will] maybe help them with their medical bills — hopefully they’ll be alright,” he said.

Shaw said that the GoFundMe represents a “small gesture” but noted that it will not make up for the lives lost on Sunday.

“At least it’s something that will pull them toward the right way,” said Shaw.

Separately, a fundraiser has been set up for Shaw, who suffered a graze wound and a second-degree burn on his right hand from where he grabbed the barrel of the weapon.

“Since that horrific shooting, he has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the victims and shown a level of humility that has inspired many of us,” the fundraiser read, adding that the money raised could be used for his daughter’s education. “But I’d be just as happy if James used some of this money to take his family on a nice vacation.”

So far, people have donated more than $47,000 to support the hero.

Shaw was not immediately available for additional comment when contacted by Fox News on Tuesday.

Madeline Farber

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