James Shaw Jr. honors local fathers with cookout and car show

Posted at 8:22 PM, Jun 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 09:43:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — James Shaw Jr. spent part of his Father's Day honoring other dads in the community.

Fathers enjoyed eating food, playing kickball, and taking in a car show on Sunday at Richland Park in Nashville.

"For us fathers, showing off your cars, spending time with your child, coming out here seeing other fathers, just small talk and networking. Something I wanted to do," Shaw Jr. said.

Shaw Jr., who disarmed the Waffle House shooter in Antioch on April 22, 2018, said he chooses to focus life one day at a time while giving back to his community.

As a father to a 5-year-old daughter, he said he tries to instill values like honesty into her. He encourages other fathers to be present in the lives of their children.

"Since the incident, Brooklyn definitely knows. She says my whole name 'James Shaw Jr. the Waffle House Hero'. Probably the most irritating thing she does but I know it comes from a good place. To be honest with you, I just try to stay to myself and what I've been doing the last couple of months is fighting through my depression and going through stuff like that and just finding out what's important to James and what makes me happy and try to find my purpose. While I'm trying to do all that I'm trying to bring the community together with small events like this," he said.

Manuel Lopez, president and founder of Cashville Corvette Club, said he saw Sunday's event as a way to bond with other fathers.

"We see one fall, we pick them up. We just try to be a brother and a brotherhood to each and every one. Fathers can be role models for the youth just for being who they are," Lopez said.

Shaw Jr. said the best thing a father can do for his child and other children is be a positive role model.

"I just think it's just a million different ways and there are a million different men that are out here that have shown that they are good fathers and they can show other men that are coming up to be good fathers also," he said.

The event ended with a kickball game between families.