Miami Heat

Waffle House hero told Ellen his favorite NBA player. Then out walked Dwyane Wade

Man who took gun from Waffle House shooter says he’s not a hero

The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle from a gunman at a busy Tennessee restaurant says his was an act of self-preservation and he doesn't consider himself a hero.
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The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle from a gunman at a busy Tennessee restaurant says his was an act of self-preservation and he doesn't consider himself a hero.

James Shaw Jr., known as the man who stopped a shooting at a Tennessee Waffle House last weekend, said during an appearance on "Ellen" that there are two things in his life that matter above everything else

The first: His 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn.

The second: Basketball.

And who happens to be Shaw’s favorite player?

“Dwyane Wade,” Shaw said. “I like the way he carries himself off the court.”

Moments later, out walks Wade to Shaw’s amazement.

“[Wade] just dropped everything,” Ellen DeGeneres told Shaw. “We told him that you loved him and he was your favorite, so he just flew out for you.”

Shaw, 29, has made headlines after disarming a shooter at a Waffle House in Nashville early Sunday morning.

“I’m glad I could be here. I really am,” Wade said. “I look at you, I know you don’t want to be called a hero, but I look at you as an American hero … I would say obviously how brave you are, but for me, when I sit down with my kids and I sit down with them and talk about role models and who I want them to look up to, I tell them to look up to you.”

After Shaw told Wade he hopes to find a way to bring awareness to the mental health crisis in the United States, Wade passed along a check for $20,000 to help Shaw toward that cause.

“I knew Ellen was doing something. I couldn’t be outdone,” Wade said. “I wanted to make sure I matched it as well.”

Wade’s ventures to help the community have been readily noticed over the past couple months.

The man who snatched an AR-15 rifle from a gunman at a busy Tennessee restaurant says his was an act of self-preservation and he doesn't consider himself a hero.

He has played a major role in supporting the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas following the Feb. 14 shooting at the Parkland school.

There was his surprise visit to Douglas in March to meet with students and discuss ways to magnify their message calling for action and change. There was the $200,000 Wade and wife Gabrielle Union donated to the “March for Our Lives” created by Douglas students.

There was the “Parkland 17” art exhibit at the Wynwood Art Walk, which was created to honor the 17 people who were killed in the shooting.

Moreover, Wade also reached out to families who lost loved ones in the shooting, including the family of Joaquin Oliver, inviting them to the Heat’s March 3 home game and presenting them with custom shoes and a game-worn jersey.

The NBA recognized Wade with the March NBA Cares Community Assist Award for his efforts and is a finalist for the league's yearlong community assist award. He's also a finalist for the Pro Basketball Writers Association’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.

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