ANTIOCH, TN (WMC) - He was in the Waffle House when he heard gunshots approaching him coming into the restaurant.
Brennan McMurry, 28, told WMC Action News 5 in an exclusive interview that he was in the Waffle House less than two minutes before he heard the sound of massive gunshots.
The memories are still raw for Brennan when thinking back to the shooting.
"At night it gets kind of rough," Brennan said. "I sit there and play with my son, talk with my wife, and things start to get a little surreal with the fact that I made it back to ever see them again."
The husband and father said when he and his best friend James Shaw Jr. walked into the Waffle House that night, they spotted suspected shooter Travis Reinking sitting in his truck in the parking lot.
"When we were walking up we made eye contact essentially with what we know now is the shooter," Brennan said. "He was just looking at us."
Brennan said they were in the restaurant less than two minutes when the shooting happened.
"Just going louder, rumbling, walls trembling," Brennan said.
He said there were only about 20 people inside at the time and he quickly thought the bathrooms might be the best place to run for cover.
"The shots just get louder and louder and louder and closer and then I just literally yelled everyone get in the bathrooms," Brennan said.
Brennan was in one of two bathrooms. He thought James was in the other, then the gunfire stopped.
"I open the door and peek out again," Brennan said. "I look, he's like. 'come on we got to go, we got to go,' and he's kind of got a limp. I'm looking at him and I'm like, 'did you get shot? Are you okay? He's like no, I slipped and fell. I was like what? What are you saying? I just fought the guy.'"
Police said after Reinking stopped shooting that Shaw, despite being grazed by a bullet, grabbed the gun and tossed it over the counter, forcing the gunman to run off.
What Brennan saw next, he said he'll never forget.
"Walk out, there's another gentleman right here gone, there's another person down the sidewalk, gone and you're just looking at all this destruction," Brennan said.
Yet with all that destruction, Brennan walked out physically unharmed. Now, he said it is his and James' mission to help.
"There are families right now that didn't get to see their family members come home and the fact that I got to walk out of the restaurant with my friend, I don't take that for granted at all," Brennan said.
He's helping out with a GoFundMe page, humbled he was spared.
Brennan hopes the money they raise for victims and their families helps during their time of need.
"We do thank God every day multiple times a day now for sure," Brennan said.