James Shaw Jr., who is best known as the hero who unarmed a shooter bearing an AR-15 at a Waffle House in Tennessee, sent his thoughts and prayers to the late Chadwick Boseman following his sudden passing. The two shared the stage together at the 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards when Boseman presented him with an award he won for his work in Black Panther as “Best Superhero.”
On his Instagram page, Shaw Jr. shared a pair of images from the evening, one of them on stage together and the other backstage. "From one Black man to another, I appreciate the words of advice, the award, and the sharing of your spotlight," he began his caption. "We salute, respect and Love you King, not T'Challa the character… but Chadwick Boseman the Man." The image has garnered quite the love from his followers, including one user who remarked, "From one humble hero to another, just imagine what he knew about himself and his health at the moment of this photo, and yet still so selfless. He was such a leader and brought so much to the culture."
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At the time of his award, Boseman also shared images from the evening on his Instagram. He called it an honor to meet Shaw Jr., writing: "He saved countless lives by tackling a gunman who opened fire on people in Antioch, Tennessee in April. He's a true hero that walks among us." As the noted follower who commented on Shaw Jr.'s post, Boseman was fighting colon cancer for four years before losing his fight against the disease. When his death was announced, his family was the first to announce the news, calling him a "true fighter." They also noted all of the work he did while battling cancer, including Marshall and Da 5 Bloods, among others. They called his time as T'Challa in Black Panther as one of his greatest honors.
In regards to Shaw, the incident saw him grazed by a bullet at the Waffle House before lunging at the shooter as he attempted to reload and wrestled the gun away from him. The suspect fled but was later captured by local enforcement a few days later. Four victims were lost in the scene but more could have amounted had Shaw Jr. not stepped in as he did.