James Shaw Jr., the Nashville man who stopped the Antioch Waffle House shooter last month, met the families impacted by a shooting spree there and handed over nearly a half-a-million dollars he raised for them on Tuesday.
In a private ceremony at Tennessee State University, Shaw distributed just over $240,000 to the injured victims and the families of Akilah DaSilva, DeEbony Groves, Taurean Sanderlin and Joey Perez — who died in the shooting.
The presentation took place during a ceremony to honor those killed and wounded in the April 22 incident at the Murfreesboro Pike restaurant.
According to a university statement, TSU President Glenda Glover welcomed the families to the school before everyone gathered for a brunch with Shaw and his parents. Four balloons were later released on the university’s campus in remembrance of those killed.
Metro police say the 29-year-old wrested a rifle away from suspected gunman Travis Reinking and tossed it over the counter before shoving the shooter out the door.
Reinking, 29, is charged with four counts of criminal homicide, four counts of attempted homicide and one count of having a firearm while committing a dangerous felony in connection with the shooting. A 34-hour manhunt for Reinking attracted national attention as Nashville police searched for him.
“Had you not been there, everybody in that building would have been killed,” said Renee Hampton, the aunt of 24-year-old Sharita Henderson, who was wounded in the shooting. “I just want to say thank you.”
Shaw has said he plans to use the notoriety he’s receiving as a platform to address gun violence and mental illness issues. In doing so, Abede Dasilva, who was at the Waffle House with his brother Akilah that didn’t survive said Shaw is honoring his brother.
“My brother was against guns,” he said. “He would want this.”
Immediately after the shooting, Shaw set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. In the end he raised $241,826.
A replica of the check was presented to the families during the luncheon. The amount will be divided evenly among the families once processed and released.