Not A Victim, A Hero

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Early in the morning James Shaw Jr. was sitting in a Waffle House restaurant when a criminal, who shouldn’t have had a gun, started shooting patrons. Ultimately four people were killed and others injured.

Mr. Shaw reacted instinctively and wrestled the rifle away from the shooter. He then dragged the shooter outside where they separated and each went in a different direction.

He doesn’t think of himself as a hero, but then heroes never do. What he did was save several lives, even if that wasn’t his plan when everything started. That’s where the instinctive part comes into play.

He doesn’t seem to have had a plan, he just saw what needed to be done and did it.

Man fought gunman: He ‘was going to have to work to kill me’

The man who wrestled the gun away from the Waffle House shooting suspect in Tennessee said Sunday if he were going to die, the gunman would “have to work to kill me.”

Police are calling James Shaw Jr. a hero for saving lives in the busy restaurant, but the 29-year-old Nashville resident said he only made a split-second decision to challenge the shooter and called it a “selfish” act to avoid being killed.

Selfish? Maybe, but I wouldn’t call it that. I’d call it heroic, even if Mr. Shaw doesn’t see himself that way.

When Shaw’s father went to visit him in the hospital before he was released, he had one piece of advice for his son: “Don’t do that again.”

“I take no pride in him charging a loaded gun,” James Shaw Sr. said. “I do take pride in him helping save the lives of other people.”

After the son’s release from the hospital, the family went to church together.

The Shaws, and all of us, have something to be thankful for.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

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