On April 22, a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee killed four people and injured several others. During the shooting, a man heroically disarmed the killer, likely saving lives. Moreover, the Waffle House hero, James Shaw, created a GoFundMe for the victims, which has raised over $100,000 to cover funeral costs and other related expenses. If you wish to contribute to this growing fund, you can do so via GoFundMe's website.
As the New York Times reported, four people were killed in Sunday's Waffle House shooting: 20-year-old Joe Perez, 21-year-old DeEbony Groves, 29-year-old Taurean Sanderlin, and 23-year-old Akilah Dasilva. As Shaw described on the fundraising website, all of the proceeds from the GoFundMe campaign will go directly to the victims' families. The fundraiser has currently brought in around $117,000 — far surpassing its initial goal of $15,000. You can easily donate to the fund using a credit or debit card on GoFundMe's website.
Shaw's commitment to raising funds for the victims' families is especially impressive considering the events that unfolded Sunday morning. According to the New York Times, Shaw and his friend had headed to Waffle House after an evening out. The men were sitting at a table in the restaurant when they heard gunshots — and saw fellow customers falling to the ground after being shot. When the shooter stopped to reload his weapon, Shaw seized on the opportunity and tackled the shooter, wrestling his gun away from him. Shaw described the experience to the paper, saying,
I acted in a blink of a second ... When he reloaded his clip, that felt like 30 minutes. I looked at him, and he wasn’t looking at me. He just had the barrel down. It was like, ‘Do it now. Go now.’ I just took off ... He was mad at me ... I was just trying to live ... I just wanted to live, and he was, like, astonished, that I wanted to live.
Shaw has been humble in how he's portrayed Sunday's events, characterizing his own actions not as heroic but simply as ones of survival. As he described to the New York Times, "I know I saved other people. I have a 4-year-old daughter: I didn’t even think about her. In the midst of it, I was just trying to save myself.” NPR reported that Shaw also expressed similar sentiments at a press conference, saying "I'm not a hero. I'm just a regular person ... I think anybody could've did what I did if they're just pushed in that kind of cage... and you have to either react or you're going to, you know, fold."
However, despite his own reservations about the word, for many Shaw is absolutely a hero. As Inside Edition reported, Metro Nashville Police spokesperson Don Aaron said at a press conference on Sunday, Shaw "is the hero here, and no doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and then tossing it over the counter and prompting the [gun]man to leave."
A witness to the shooting, Chuck Cordero, also described Shaw in a similar way to CNN affiliate WSMV-TV. Cordero referred to Shaw as a hero, noting that if the shooter had had a chance to reload his weapon, "there was plenty more people in that restaurant [he could have killed].”
To acknowledge Shaw's important role in saving lives, a man named Yashar Ali also set up a GoFundMe Campaign to benefit Shaw. Ali suggested that the proceeds from the campaign could go to Shaw's young daughter and/or could be used for whatever Shaw desires. The fund has raised over $100,000 so far. If you wish to donate, you can do so here.
Overall, both of these GoFundMe campaigns will serve to help those who have been impacted by the Waffle House shooting in Nashville — and offer an easy way for you to assist the victims, should you choose to contribute.