Brantley Gilbert to Raise Funds for Waffle House Shooting Hero
A symphony rehearsal for a May 4 Ascend Amphitheatre performance in Nashville, Tenn. turned into an impromptu press conference for Brantley Gilbert on Wednesday (April 25). The country star took the opportunity to announce plans to give back to the Nashville community following the mass shooting that took place in a Waffle House on Sunday (April 23).
During the massacre, a nearly-nude gunman claimed the lives of four people before 29-year-old customer James Shaw Jr. wrestled the gun away from the shooter, causing him to flee the scene. As a result, Shaw has since been heralded as a hero across the nation, as his actions stopped the killing spree, and he also subsequently organized a GoFundMe page to assist victims of the shooting, which quickly met its $15,000 goal.
When Gilbert heard Shaw's story, he felt compelled to get involved: "When you see someone like James, who just jumped up and did what he did -- and you think about the lives he saved, you realize what a special kind of guy he is," the country singer said in a press release.
As a tribute to the idea that regular people can be heroes, Gilbert and his manager created a special design for T-shirts that read "I Believe in Heroism," which will be sold at Gilbert's May 4 performance. The country star designed the concept with his manager, Rich Egan, who also backs the "I Believe in Nashville" coalition, and the shirt design takes cues from the city's iconic "I Believe in Nashville" mural.
Joining Gilbert at the press conference was rock group Dashboard Confessional's frontman Chris Carrabba, who also pledged to sell the T-shirts at his May 11 appearance at the Ryman auditorium.
"Bad people do bad things, but good people can do great things," Gilbert went on to say. "Talking to James before we got up here, he said he's not a superhero, he's just a regular person. But I think there has to be some hero inside, because that's where bravery comes from."
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