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TSU President lauds ‘bravery’ of alumnus hailed a hero in Waffle House shooting

by Lucas Johnson, TSU News Service

NASHVILLE –– Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover says the university is “extremely proud” of alumnus James Shaw, Jr., who is being hailed a hero for wrestling an assault rifle out of the hands of a gunman at a local Waffle House.

“Our hearts go out to the families that lost loved ones in this horrific crime, and we will keep them in our prayers, along with our Nashville community,” says Glover.

Four people were killed and two others wounded in the incident that occurred Sunday in the suburb of Antioch. However, authorities say there may have been more casualties had it not been for Shaw’s actions.

James Shaw Jr. (Facebook)

“The TSU family is extremely proud of alumnus James Shaw, Jr. for his bravery and courage,” says Glover. “His actions saved the lives of many others.”

Shaw, 29, has been humble about his actions on Sunday, saying he’s really not a hero.

“I did save other people, but I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator or Superman or anybody like that,” Shaw told reporters at a press conference after the shooting.

 One person not surprised by Shaw’s humbleness is current TSU student Shaheed Whitfield. The 21-year-old marketing major is mentored by Shaw and says it’s part of Shaw’s character, which is what he respects most about him.

“The whole thing about him saying he doesn’t want to be a hero, that’s him on a daily basis,” says Whitfield, adding that Shaw “really enjoys helping people.”

Whitfield, a St. Louis, Missouri native, belongs to the same fraternity as Shaw, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Both joined the organization at TSU.

He says Shaw is like a true big brother who continues to give him advice that he takes to heart.

“He always tells me to keep going, regardless of the situation,” says Whitfield. “Just push through it.”

Shaw says he enjoyed his time at Tennessee State and that he’s proud to be part of the TSU family.

“People that I was a freshman with have texted me, or called me,” says Shaw. “It’s just a bond that we have.”

Shaw’s parents are also alumni of the university.

NOTE: Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old mentally unstable gunman suspected of killing four people in a late-night shooting at a Waffle House restaurant, was arrested near his apartment Monday after hiding from police for more than a day, authorities said. (Source: AP)

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