Boy dresses as James Shaw Jr. for 'Hero Day'

Posted at 1:21 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-27 12:04:45-04

While some students may want to dress up as Batman or Superman for "Hero Day," a local fifth grader looked to a Nashville hero for his inspiration: James Shaw Jr.

James Shaw Jr. played a critical role in stopping the gunman of the deadly Waffle House shooting from taking more lives. He was able to take the gun away from the shooter, Travis Reinking, which led to Reinking leaving the restaurant.

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Tayir Thomas is a fifth grader at Union Elementary School in Gallatin. The school is celebrating Red Ribbon Week and Friday was superhero Day.

After his mother, Britt Thomas, showed him a video of Shaw, he said he was brave and that was who he wanted to be.

"He said he wanted to be a real hero not a fictional one," said Britt.

In a Facebook post, Britt also said "I’m so glad my son has a local hero to admire."

Tayir wore a "live" sweatshirt Shaw is known to wear and even wrapped his hand similar to Shaw's when he was injured during the shooting.

James Shaw Jr. responded to the story by posting Tayir's picture on his Instagram feed. The post said "Truly honored and flattered to be the “Superhero” you dressed up as, you inspire me to keep inspiring Love Young King."