Tennessee Man Who Stopped Gunman a Hero

"I was waiting for chance, so when I saw the barrel down I saw an opportunity, and I attacked..."

Have you heard of James Shaw Jr. yet? You're about to. 

Read about his heroic actions from NBC News

The man who wrestled an AR-15 out of the hands of a nude gunman at a Tennessee Waffle House early on Sunday morning is being hailed as a hero — even though he says he doesn't see himself that way.

James Shaw Jr., 29, said that after going to a nightclub he decided to go to a Waffle House with a friend early Sunday. But the first one he went to was too crowded, so he ended up going to another one in Nashville.

Fatefully, he ended up there just minutes before the accused gunman, Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Illinois, entered the restaurant and opened fire.

"When I first heard the gun shots immediately it's like a what’s-going-on type of feeling, and I saw a gentleman near the door of the Waffle House and I jumped from the high countertop seats and jumped toward the bathrooms," Shaw told "Today" on Monday. "The bathrooms seemed like a bad idea — kind of like shooting fish in a barrel."

Shaw said he felt that Reinking was going to "get [him] either way" and waited for an opportunity to act.

"I was waiting for chance, so when I saw the barrel down I saw an opportunity, and I attacked and took it and it worked out for myself and others who were in the Waffle House at same time," Shaw said.

Shaw said it was then that they began wrestling, ignoring his own pain as he grabbed the hot barrel of the AR-15 weapon. On Sunday afternoon, his right hand was bandaged from the encounter.

The alleged shooter was caught and taken into custody Monday afternoon. 

8 hours ago

Gretchen Whitmer’s Dark Money Hypocrisy

After preaching 'transparency,' Dem gov partners with dark money nonprofit to raise millions

2 days, 8 hours ago

Gov. Doug Ducey: My budget makes major investments that will leave Arizona even stronger

My 2023 budget invests in key areas like education and water while cutting taxes and paying down debt. That will leave Arizona stronger.

2 days, 12 hours ago

Republican Glenn Youngkin sworn in as governor of Virginia

Republican Glenn Youngkin was sworn on Saturday as the next governor of Virginia, delivering an optimistic message about empowering parents, overcoming COVID-19 and providing economic relief to families and businesses

1 week ago

Unemployment agency pegs likely pandemic fraud losses at more than $8.5 billion

Michigan's jobless aid agency lost more than $8.5 billion to suspected fraudulent payments amid record claims and persistent attempts at fraud during the pandemic

1 week, 1 day ago

Gov. McMaster urges lawmakers to cut SC taxes, raise state employee and officer pay

Gov. Henry McMaster called on South Carolina lawmakers to raise pay for state employees and law enforcement officers by 2%, all while urging legislators to also cut taxes

1 week, 1 day ago

Milwaukee County Residents Push Wisconsin Gov To Fire DA Over Waukesha Attack

Milwaukee County residents are pushing Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) to terminate a district attorney after a man released from jail after posting bail killed several people and injured more than 60 others