Metropolitan Nashville Police officials have identified the four victims killed at the Antioch Waffle House when a 29-year-old white shooter armed with an AR-15 opened fired just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
The shooter, who police identified as Travis Reinking, is still on the run.
As Reinking first got out of his truck, he shot and killed Taurean C. Sanderlin, a Waffle House employee, and Joe Perez, both of whom were standing outside.
Inside the restaurant, the terrorist fatally shot DeEbony Groves and critically injured Akilah DaSilva, who later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Also being treated for gunshot wounds at Vanderbilt are 21-year-old Shanita Waggoner and 24-year-old Sharita Henderson, both of Nashville.
During the attack, Reinking took a moment to reload his weapon. During this break, 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. rushed the gunman and took his weapon. Reinking then took off.
Here’s what we know about the victims of the attack, and the brave man who stopped more carnage.
Taurean Sanderlin, who also went by "T," was a Waffle House cook who was employed by the restaurant for five years, Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer told the Tennessean.
Akilah DaSilva was eating at the Waffle House with his older brother and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Shanita Waggoner, who was wounded during the attack. According to his family, who gave a streamed interview on Facebook, Waggoner went into surgery on Sunday for a leg injury.
DaSilva, who also went by "Natrix," was a Brooklyn native who went to Middle Tennessee State University to pursue a career in musical engineering.
His family started a GoFundMe campaign for his funeral costs.
DeEbony Groves was a student and basketball player at Belmont University.
The 21-year-old studied social work at Belmont, where she was set to graduate next month.
Joe Perez was working as a subcontractor for Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics, according to his Facebook page. He lived in Nashville.
Although Shaw's actions were extremely brave, the 29-year-old does not want to be called a hero.
Shaw found himself at the Antioch Waffle House with his friend Brennan McMurry after the two tried to go to another location that was far too busy.
Minutes after they arrived at the restaurant chain, Reinking began opening fire. At first, Shaw thought the sound was dishes being dropped. When he realized there was a shooter at lard, he jumped toward the bathroom.
Reinking fired in his direction and Shaw was grazed by a bullet, reported the Tennessean.
"I remember I was like ‘Dang, I’m basically in a barrel,’” Shaw told the Tennessean. “There is no place for me to go.”
As Reinking came through the door, he started to reload, and Shaw took the opportunity to counterattack.
“I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill,” Shaw told the local paper. “I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him.”
“I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar.”
After a brief tussle, Reinking, who was naked, was pushed through the door and walked away.
He pushed the gunman out the door after a brief tussle. The man, naked from the waist down, walked away.
Although many called Shaw’s actions an act of heroism, he does not wish to carry the weight of being named a hero.
“I choose to react because I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to live. I didn’t really fight that man to save everyone else. That might not be a popular thing to say,” Shaw said during a news conference.
Regardless, witnesses at the scene believe Shaw acted selflessly.
“I looked back and there was a gentleman wrestling with the gunman,” witness Chuck Cordero told CNN affiliate WSMV. “He was a hero ... had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there was plenty more people in that restaurant.”
(Photo: Jason Davis/Getty Images)
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