Waffle House hero who rushed shooter honored by lawmakers

James Shaw Jr., who wrestled the AR-15 from the shooter, said he acted to save his own life - and saved others in the process.
7:41 | 04/25/18

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Transcript for Waffle House hero who rushed shooter honored by lawmakers
It was a true test of a man. Reporter: A tribute in the Tennessee statehouse for the waffle house hero, James Shaw Jr., credits with saving dozens of lives during Sunday's horrific shooting outside Nashville, Tennessee. You were confronted with the most unspeakable evil imaginable, and you acted with the utmost honor, heroism, imaginable. Reporter: New details are emerging of the man who allegedly killed four young people, captured after a harrowing 34-hour manhunt. His previous brushes with the law. An arrest at the white house. And his bizarre assertion that Taylor Swift was stalking him. Authorities say the alleged shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, had an alarming stockpile at his home. A search warrant indicating investigators found more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, one Remington rifle, two scopes, a laptop a local business owner tells ABC store news his store wiped clean before the shooting. Police not confirming this. Do you have any question about your charges or your bond? No, I don't. Reporter: Reinking is under mandatory medical observation, charged with four counts of murder. From Sunday's rampage. His bond once set at $2 million, has now been revoked. Does he seem remorseful in any way? I haven't heard that word. Reporter: Early Sunday morning after a night of clubbing, James Shaw Jr. Stopped at the waffle house as he told my colleague Michael Strahan. It was about 3:17 when I walked in. I saw his face. Reporter: Witnesses say they spotted Reinking in his pickup truck in the parking lot. At 3:23 A.M., police say Reinking got out of his truck wearing nothing but a green jacket, wielding this ar-15 assault rifle. First fatally shooting two people outside the waffle house before coming inside to continue his rampage. Shaw, a 29-year-old electrician, realized he had to act. He shot actually through that door. And one of the bullets grazed me. I think that's when I became alert about the situation and was like, there's no running from this. Reporter: The suspect stopping briefly to reload. The barrel of the gun was down, so that's when I took my opportunity, wrestling it from him. I ran through the door at full speed, hit him with the door, and took the gun and threw it over the bar, then I took him and myself outside the restaurant. Reporter: His hands still blistered and burned from grabbing the piping-hot gun. I just knew it was me or him. Reporter: Without his weapon police say the suspect pled the scene on foot. He went to his apartment, put on a pair of pants, and then went to a wood line behind the apartment. Reporter: But this tragedy cutting short four young lives. All of the victims in their 20s. There was akila da silva, 23, a student and aspiring rap artist and music producer. His older brother mourned the loss of his baby sibling to CBS. He looked up to me but I looked up to him at the same time. Real smart, real good guy, never got in any trouble. Reporter: Debony groves, remembered for her dream of becoming a social worker. 29-year-old tarian Sunderland, long-time employee of the waffle house. 20-year-old Joe Perez, who worked as a subcontractor, shot in the parking lot. His mother posting on Facebook, our lives are shattered. After the shooting, Reinking disappeared and the town on edge, neighbors fearful the killer could be hiding in their backyards. You spotted Reinking yesterday at this apartment complex? Yeah, around 6:15 yesterday morning I was throwing out a dirty deeper and I saw him running along this gate. He had on dark-colored pants, Navy. Reporter: Hundreds of police and heavily armed officers went door to door in an exhaustive search. There's too many places to hide around here. From a distance it looks like this guy. He's got mud all over him. Reporter: In the end a tip from a citizen led to Reinking's arrest on Monday afternoon. I'd get somebody over here, this is right where he lives. It's that suspect y'all are looking for. Reporter: Reinking cornered by a swarm of officers, cuffed in the woods behind his own apartment complex less than one mile from the waffle house. Detective Williams drew down on the suspect. The suspect proned out, told him to get on the ground, he got on the ground immediately. Reporter: Police say he was armed when he was captured. He did have maroon shirt, dark jeans, a black backpack with a semiautomatic weapon -- Reporter: Now growing questions over Reinking's repeated brushes with the law. This video released yesterday shows a dangerous pursuit of a stolen BMW from last Tuesday. Police now saying it was Reinking behind the wheel. The vehicle was recovered from Reinking's apartment complex. But I would hasten to add that they had no idea who the man was. Reporter: Reinking had at least five other known incidents with various law enforcement agencies. In July 2017, he was arrested by the secret service for trespassing in a restricted area near the white house, saying he wanted to speak with president trump. After that incident, state and local authorities seized the four guns he had with him, turning them over to his father. Police say his father later gave them all back to his son, including the rifle Reinking is accused of using to gun down his victims on Sunday. How concerned are you that Travis Reinking was able to slip through the cracks? We were able to effectively neutralize what we felt was the threat at the time. By ensuring that he did not have the ability to purchase or own weapons. Reporter: Reinking's father now under federal investigation. Should your father be held responsible for giving you guns? Reporter: Authorities working to determine whether he violated federal law by allegedly giving guns back to his son after Reinking's permit was revoke the. Clearly it was the wrong thing to do. Travis had already had a track record of being inappropriate and potentially violent. And so he is a person that should not have firearms. Reporter: Questions about Reinking's mental health also raising red flags. In may of 2016, police were called to a CVS parking lot in Colorado. According to the incident report, Reinking was convinced Taylor Swift was stalking and harassing him. And that she had hacked his Netflix account and told him to meet her at the dairy queen. His parents told officers that he made comments about killing himself. James Shaw Jr., the man who stopped the gunman, has said he's no hero. His efforts to help the victims have been nothing short of herculean. I'm not a hero. I'm just a regular person. And I think -- Reporter: On a gofundme page to raise money for the victims' memorials, his initial $15,000 goal was quickly matched and now more than $115,000 raised. In return, a gofundme was started for him, raising more than $100,000 for his recovery. And his 4-year-old daughter's college fund. I actually tried to count the hairs on her eyelashes, just because I was just like, I almost didn't see you anymore. Reporter: At the Tennessee statehouse today, others sang his praises. He's a best friend, he's a great man. You can see he's very humble. Reporter: Perhaps that's the sure sign of a true hero. I'm very grateful to be here. Reporter: A man like James Shaw Jr., who doesn't think he is. And me saving lives, I saved other lives. So that's probably one of the greatest things I think you could do. Reporter: For "Nightline," I'm erielle reshef, ABC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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