Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw Jr. raises $197k+ for victims' families

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Bystander James Shaw Jr. recounts wrestling a gunman's weapon away from him during a fatal shooting at a Tennesee Waffle House. (Jason Davis/Getty Images)

James Shaw Jr. was hailed as a hero after he stopped a shooting rampage at a Tennessee Waffle House, but he's making sure that the focus stays on the victims and their families.

A week after the tragedy, Shaw's GoFundMe raised more than $197,000 for the families of the four victims.

Belmont University senior DeEbony Groves, rap artist Akilah DaSilva, Waffle House employee Taurean Sanderlin and Joe Perez were killed when Travis Reinking opened fire at the restaurant in the early morning hours of April 22, according to investigators. Four others were injured.

Shaw was hailed as a hero for wrestling the gun from Reinking's hands and tossing it over a counter in the restaurant before Reinking fled the scene on foot, police and witnesses said. Reinking was apprehended in a wooded area not far from the restaurant the next day.

Days after the shooting, Shaw wrote on Facebook that the Waffle House incident wasn't going to be the last shooting and pledged to use his newfound fame to make a difference.

"I'm using this platform not only for the families that lost people and the other wounded victims but also for future incidents, education young men and women about...gun violence," Shaw said in part.

A separate GoFundMe campaign launched by journalist Yashar Ali has raised nearly $200,000 for Shaw and his daughter. GoFundMe has verified both campaigns.
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gun violencefatal shootingu.s. & worldfundraiserheroTennessee