What A Real Hero Looks Like

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When you think of a hero, Black Panther might be the first one to come to mind. The name that should roll off your tongue is James Shaw Jr. Doesn’t sound familiar? This is the guy that stopped an armed man during a shooting at the Waffle House Restaurant in Nashville, Tenn. Back on April 22. Since then his whole world has flipped–in a good way.

Here’s a quick recap. After a night of clubbing, Shaw became a newsworthy subject when he wrestled an AR-15 out of the hands of the nude gunman, Travis Reinking, at the Waffle House. As a result of the shooting, four victims were killed; two were injured by broken glass and two people suffered gunshot wounds. According to NBCNews, Shaw stated, “I was waiting for a 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.”

After the incident, Shaw didn’t embrace the “hero” title but gradually began to accept it. One of his hero moves was starting a GoFundMe page for the shooting victims and their families. Once Ellen Degeneres heard about Shaw she invited him on her show. According to cnn.com, the comedian presented him with a giant check for $225,000, which included money raised for him on a GoFundMe account. She surprised him with a visit from his favorite basketball player, Dwayne Wade, plus a giant check from Shutterfly for $20,000. Wade matched the amount with another $20,000.

Because of the shooting, Shaw has became more aware to the problem of mental health in our society, and he believes that problem should be fixed. During Shaw’s visit at the Ellen Show, he stated, “I want to bring some kind of awareness to mental health, I have a 4-year-old daughter so I don’t want her to live in that problem. If I can help that problem, I think that’s just what I should do.”

According to politico.com, Shaw is even scheduled to have a meeting with the President at the White House. Like I said, his world has flipped. Shaw is an example of true #BlackExcellence in our society. Although, this was a tragic event where innocent lives were killed, Shaw has turned this incident into something positive. Let’s all take the time to applaud Shaw for showing the true meaning of a hero.

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