NASHVILLE — In wake of the fatal Waffle House shooting in Tennessee, a New York man launched a fundraiser for the daughter of the man many are crediting with preventing more bloodshed.
Four people were killed Sunday and several others injured at the Waffle House in the southeast Nashville neighborhood of Antioch.
James Shaw Jr., 29, is credited with saving numerous lives after he wrestled an AR-15 out of the hands of mass shooting suspect Travis Reinking.
Yashir Ali launched a GoFundMe account Monday to help create a college fund for Shaw's 4-year-old daughter.
As of Tuesday evening, the fundraising effort had exceeded its $100,000 goal, taking less than 20 hours to do so.
Former first lady Hillary Clinton also retweeted Ali's post about creating the fundraiser.
"Part of the reason I decided to start this is James, after putting his life on the line, started a @gofundme for the victims," Ali posted on Twitter. "He really represents the best of America and I think we should help him too."
Donate to the college fund here.
On Tuesday, Tennessee state lawmakers honored Shaw for his heroism.
"You are my hero," said state Rep. Jason Powell, a Nashville Democrat. "You are Tennessee's hero."
A Tennessee Senate resolution, which unanimously passed Monday, called Shaw's courage especially moving and inspiring. The state House followed suit Tuesday afternoon.
State Sen. Thelma Harper and Rep. Brenda Gilmore, both Democrats from Nashville, filed resolutions, with Gilmore saying “if his heroism is equaled by anything, it is Mr. Shaw's penchant for honesty; he later asserted that his actions were purely selfish and that he was only trying to stay alive, but everyone else disagrees.
"No matter his motivations, Mr. Shaw is indeed a hero; his actions on that fateful morning are unfathomable to most, indescribable by even the chief of police, and very poignant to the citizens of Nashville, who are deeply grateful for his brave actions in the face of extreme adversity that saved many lives," Gilmore wrote in her resolution.
During the Sunday shooting, Shaw said he ran toward the bathroom when gunfire rang out.
Then, realizing he was trapped, Shaw rushed the shooter as he was reloading, grabbed the hot barrel of the AR-15, disarmed the shooter and threw the gun over the Waffle House counter.
“I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill,” Shaw said Sunday. “I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him.”
Shaw suffered burns to his hand and a gunshot wound that seared his elbow. He has declined the label of hero, saying he was selfishly trying to stay alive.
In life-threatening situations, trauma experts say humans have three reactions: fight, flight or freeze.
"I do feel like flight and freeze would be more common," said Jenn MacMaster, a Nashville trauma specialist and independent therapist.
Earlier this week Shaw started a GoFundMe page to help the victims. He's raised more than 10 times his $15,000 goal since launching the page Sunday.
My name is James Shaw Jr. I am creating this page to help the families of the victims from the Shooting that took place at Waffle House in Antioch, TN. Please take the time to donate as all of the proceeds will be given to the families. Thank you again for your generosity and blessings!
The four people who died in the shooting:
• Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, Goodlettsville, Tenn. Sanderlin was an employee of the Waffle House. He was fatally wounded standing outside the restaurant.
• Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville. Perez, a patron, was fatally wounded standing outside the restaurant.
• Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch. Dasilva was wounded at the restaurant and died at Vanderbilt University Medial Center.
• DeEbony Groves, 21 of Gallatin, Tenn.