President Donald Trump once claimed that he would take the same heroic actions that James Shaw Jr. did during a mass shooting, but the commander-in-chief failed to impress the Waffle House hero during a recent phone conversation.
James Shaw Jr. talked to TMZ about the call that he received from President Trump. As reported by Yahoo! Lifestyle, Trump has been criticized for taking so long to talk to 29-year-old Shaw, whose act of bravery saved many lives during the April 22 mass shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s been over three weeks since the tragic event, and Shaw said that he understands that Trump has a lot on his plate. However, he seemingly feels like his phone call with the president wasn’t exactly worth the wait.
“The conversation was a little lackluster, to be honest with you,” Shaw said. “I know he’s very busy with what’s going on in the world, and, like I said, I did this for no recognition at all, so I do thank him for calling me out of his busy schedule.”
James Shaw Jr. described his conversation with Trump as “brief” and “straight to the point.” He revealed that he let the president know that he was “happy” to hear from him and that he appreciated him taking the time to call. Other than noting its brevity, Shaw didn’t elaborate on why he thought the call was “lackluster.”
James Shaw Jr. was hailed by many as an American hero when he used his bare hands to grab an AR-15 from suspected Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking. Four people were killed when the gunman opened fire on the restaurant’s patrons, but police said Shaw’s actions prevented the number of casualties from being much higher.
According to the Washington Times, Shaw later admitted that he was just thinking about saving himself when he made the split-second decision to try to wrest the gun away from Reinking. He said that he simply saw an opportunity to do something and “pretty much took it.” After pulling the gun away from the shooter, Shaw threw it behind a counter. The New York Times reported that Shaw was grazed by a bullet, and the hot weapon left him with a second-degree burn on the hand he grabbed it with.
Donald Trump previously said that he would act just as James Shaw Jr. did if he found himself in a similar situation. In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the president claimed that he would have confronted the gunman who took the lives of 17 students and faculty members.
“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said, as reported by NBC News.
James Shaw Jr. recently met with some of the survivors of the Parkland shooting. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, one of those students, gun control activist Emma Gonzalez, tweeted that she considers Shaw a “hero” weeks before the president acknowledged him at all.
According to the Tennessean, James Shaw Jr. created a GoFundMe that raised over $240,000 for the injured victims of the Waffle House shooting and the families who lost loved ones to yet another act of gun violence. Shaw recently started a community service group in Nashville, and he said that he’s interested in becoming an inspirational speaker.