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Tuesday 17 September 2019

Waffle House shooting hero raises thousands for victims

Four people were killed and four others injured in the attack at the Nashville restaurant.

James Shaw Jr has set up a fund for the victims of the Waffle House shooting (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP)
James Shaw Jr has set up a fund for the victims of the Waffle House shooting (Larry McCormack/The Tennessean via AP)

By Associated Press

A man hailed as a hero for wrestling a rifle away from a gunman at a Tennessee Waffle House has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for the victims.

James Shaw Jr, 29, was dining with a friend at the Nashville restaurant when a gunman opened fire outside with an AR-15 rifle and then stormed the Waffle House, police said.

Four people were killed and four others injured, including Mr Shaw, in the April 22 attack.

Travis Reinking is accused of the Waffle House shooting (Metro Nashville Police Department/AP)

On Monday, Mr Shaw said he was overwhelmed by the response from people.

He had set a funding campaign goal of $15,000 (£11,000) to offer modest financial support to the victims. As of Monday, he said, the campaign had received more than 6,000 donations totalling $227,000 (£167,000).

“To the thousands of people who have expressed their care, prayers and made financial donations, I can only respond by saying ‘Thank you,'” Mr Shaw said in his statement.

“Your gifts to the people who lost their lives and suffered injuries mean so much for all who were impacted by this terrible tragedy.”

The account will be closed on May 13. After that the Nashville office of financial services firm UBS will distribute the money to the victims and their families.

Meanwhile, the accused gunman will undergo an outpatient mental health evaluation.

Travis Reinking, 29, is facing multiple charges, including four counts of criminal homicide and four counts of attempted criminal homicide.

He fled the scene of the Waffle House after Mr Shaw wrested the AR-15 away from him and threw it over a counter, police said.

Reinking was captured the next day following a massive manhunt that lasted more than 24 hours.

Reinking’s public defender asked that the suspect be given an outpatient mental health evaluation before proceeding with the court case.

Judge Michael Mondelli is presiding over the case (Shelley Mays/The Tennessean/AP, Pool)

Davidson County General Sessions Judge Michael Mondelli granted the request and said lawyers should come back in three weeks for a status hearing.
Reinking, who was not in court, is being held in the Metro Nashville Jail.

Reinking was a one-time crane operator who bounced between states and suffered from delusions, sometimes talking about plans to marry singer Taylor Swift, friends and relatives told authorities.

He was detained by the Secret Service in July after he ventured into a forbidden area on the White House grounds and demanded to meet President Donald Trump.

PA Media

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