Welcome to the Evolving Man Project’s ‘Evolved Man of the Week’ profiles. Each week we will highlight an individual that embodies what it means to be an evolved man, famous and non-famous men alike. The world needs to know their stories and deeds. This week’s honor goes to AT&T technician, father, Tennessee State University alum, and American Hero, James Shaw Jr.
The heroism of James Shaw Jr. ended a deadly shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House before more lives were lost. But Shaw wants people to know that it doesn’t take a hero to save the day. It was another mass shooting that was most likely racially motivated and tragically cut short the lives of four young people of color. Their names are DeEbony Groves, 21; Akilah DaSilva, 23; Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; and may they rest in power. Mr. Shaw’s actions and bravery prevented further bloodshed and violence. He still contends his heroic act was for a purely selfish reason.
Here is James Shaw Jr in his own words about stopping a violent mass shooter and saving himself:
“I did that completely out of a selfish act. I was completely doing it just to save myself. Now, me doing that, I did save other people. But I don’t want people to think that I was the Terminator, or Superman or anybody like that. It was just, I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it.”
Mr. Shaw remains humble and honest about his act of bravery despite being thrust into the national spotlight. Today we honor James Shaw Jr as our Evolved Man of the Week.