James Shaw Jr., the man who tackled and wrestled the gun away from the Waffle House shooter last month, was surprised by one of his heroes, NBA star Dwyane Wade, during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“I know you don’t want be called a hero, but I look at you as an American hero,” Wade told Shaw.
On April 22, a man shot and killed two people outside a Tennessee Waffle House before entering the restaurant and opening fire, killing one person and injuring three others, one of whom later died at the hospital. Shaw, 29, who was dining there at the time, rushed the attacker, wrestled the gun away and threw it behind the counter.
Shaw suffered only minor injuries.
After the incident, he set up a GoFundMe account for the victims. More than $200,000 had been pledged as of midday Wednesday.
On her show Monday, after Shaw identified Wade as his favorite NBA player, DeGeneres brought the Heat star out to meet the unassuming hero.
Wade asked Shaw what he’d like to see result from the tragedy.
“What I want to see come from all this is, it’s a public health problem that we have, it’s a mental health problem that the United States as a whole has,” Shaw said. “One in five individuals in the United States suffer from some kind of mental disorder, and that’s close to like 45 million people. That’s a very large and eye-raising problem. So I want to bring some kind of awareness to it. … If I can help that problem, then I think that’s what I should do.”
Wade then presented Shaw with a check for $20,000 to help in that effort.
“When I sit down with my kids, and I sit down and talk to them about role models, who I want them to look up to, I’d tell them to go look up James Shaw Jr.,” Wade said. “Thanks for being there, man.”