Tennessee boy dresses as Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr. for school's 'Hero Day'

Photo: Britt Thomas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - A boy from Gallatin traded in a superhero cape for medical tape Friday at his school's "Hero Day."

During the Red Ribbon Week dress-up day, the rest of his classmates donned costumes of fictional characters, but not Tayir Thomas. The fifth grader told his mother he wanted to be different and dress as a "real hero."

So, wearing a gray hoodie with the word "live" on his chest and tape on his right hand, Tayir showed up to Union Stem Elementary dressed as James Shaw Jr.

When a gunman opened fire at an Antioch Waffle House in April, James Shaw Jr. jumped into action and grabbed the barrel of the shooter's AR-15 and threw it behind the diner's counter. Police say the move saved many lives.

Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; De'Ebony Groves, 21, of Gallatin; and Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch, were killed in the shooting.

Tayir's mother, Britt Thomas, said she spoke with her son about the Waffle House tragedy before Red Ribbon Week.

"I showed him the video of James Shaw Jr. and we had a talk about the events that happened," Britt Thomas said. "He said he was brave and asked if he could be him. "

The proud mother said she's glad her son has a local hero to admire in the Nashville area.

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