Ellen DeGeneres Surprises Tennessee Waffle House Shooting Hero By Introducing Him To His Idol

Date May 9, 2018

Ellen DeGeneres is known not only for her sense of humor but for her generous donations and surprising gifts.

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This time, the TV host’s attention caught James Shaw Jr. and his heroic actions at Tennessee Waffle House shooting.

On April 22, a gunman opened fire on the Antioch Waffle House restaurant killing four people. The number could have been much higher if the 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. didn’t interfere. When the shooter stopped to reload, Shaw quickly grabbed the hot barrel of the shooter's AR-15 and threw it behind the counter.

James, who has been dubbed as a ‘hero’, suffered severe burns on his hands but he saved many lives on that day. Ellen DeGeneres invited Shaw to her show to share his story.

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Ellen asked what he thinks when people called him a ‘hero’, to which Shaw answered:

If you're in that same situation, I want you to know that a regular guy did it, and I want you to emulate that same thing and know that you have that fire inside yourself.

Shortly after the tragic event, James started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help the victims' families to pay for funerals. Since then, the page has raised more than $215,000. Some people also decided to start a GoFundMe page for James, too, to raise money for him and his 4-year-old daughter.

The host decided not only to chip in, she also surprised Shaw with a visit from his favorite NBA player Dwayne Wade. James, who looked very calm and collected before, couldn’t stop smiling when meeting his idol.

Wade asked him what he’d like to achieve as a result of the tragedy. Shaw said:

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. 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.

The basketball legend then presented the 29-year-old father with a check for $20,000 to help in that cause. He also said he wants his kids to be like Shaw.

What a wonderful moment!

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Ellen Degeneres