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Mom of Waffle House shooting survivor buys wedding dress for life-saving waitress

Photo courtesy Michael Garth Sr.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) - The mother of a Waffle House shooting survivor bought a wedding dress for a waitress who possibly saved her son's life.

Michael Garth Sr. says on that tragic morning, what this waitress did might have saved his and his friend's life.

Before suspected shooter Travis Reinking opened fire at the restaurant in Antioch, Garth said a waitress who was washing dishes and didn't want to splash water on the two and. asked them to move to another table.

"That led us to sitting where we were and possibly saved our lives," Garth wrote on Facebook.

Out of the line of fire, Garth was able to go home to his four kids, his wife, and his mother.

Garth says his mom helped track the waitress down, found out she was getting married and bought her a wedding dress.

“She was the angel that helped save my son’s life, so I don’t have an option but to try to bless her in any which way I can," Vickie Davis said.

“I was crying, praising God that he was alive,” Davis said.

After hearing her son’s story, Davis made it her mission to find Stanley.

When she did, she decided to thank the waitress with something she’d never forget: a beautiful wedding dress.

“She went the extra mile. She didn’t know, or maybe the Lord had shown her, to tell my son to move his seat, but she was the angel that helped save my son’s life, so I don’t have an option, but to try to bless her in any which way that I can,” Davis said.

Davis reached out to Glitz Bridal in Bellevue to see if they would donate a dress. When the business said yes, so did Stanley.

“We hugged and we cried, and we cried and we hugged,” Davis said.

But Davis said her gratitude for Stanley isn’t stopping her.

“I thank her for helping save my son’s life, and that I’m here to help her in any way that I can, because she is not going to walk this walk alone, I’m here to help her.”

Davis said each year, Glitz Bridal gives out a free dress to veterans or first responders. She received one of these dresses three years ago. This year, the business made an exception to give a dress to Stanley as well.

Here is Garth's full account of the shooting:

It's been 4 days since my life was spared in the terrible events at the Waffle House in Antioch, TN. I chose not to share my story on my page until I was able to talk to my mother as she was on Vacation for her anniversary in Aruba. She was aware of the event, but I chose not to inform her of my involvement until her return in an effort to let her enjoy her trip. I was able to speak to her tonight as she visited me on her way home from the airport. I was finally able to hold my mother as I cried in her arms as she prayed over me and thanked the Lord for sparing my life. There is nothing stronger than a praying mother. First I would like to thank the Lord for the series of events that lead to my life being spared that night. Upon arriving at the resturant we attempted to sit at the bar to eat but were informed by the waitress that she was washing dishes and did not want water splashing on us. Tho we slightly frustrated we decided to sit at the booth near the bathrooms. I beleive this was nothing but the 1st step in the hand of God leading us out of harms way. We decided to sit along the wall near the bathrooms, another decesion that changed our fate. Shortly after returning to my vehicle to get my cell phone while enjoying my meal shots rang out. We hid under our table assuming it was a confrontation outside that would end soon but the shooting got closer and never stopped. As windows started to shatter we then crawled to the bathroom area in an attempt to hide in the bathrooms but both bathrooms were locked and the kitchen door was locked as well. Pleading for my life to get into the bathroom the door never opened and the shot I believe grazed Mr. Shaw entered the hallway and struck the wall behind us. Trapped with no where to go the gunman approached the area we were trapped in when Mr. Shaw made his move. I never saw Shaw or the shooter as I was begging to get into the bathroom to no avail. My friend and I were eventually let into the kitchen area after I believe the shooter fled the scene. There we waited on the police as we feared the shooter was still on the premises waiting to strike again. When police arrived we fled in fear the shooter would return and gave one of the workers who was distraught a ride home. I am still struggling with the events of that night and have talked to my VA representative for help. Today accompanied by my oldest daughter who will be graduating high school Friday I returned to the location of the tragedy in an effort to help me cope with this tragic event. With lots of prayers from myself, my family and friends I know I will over come this adversity. Continue to support, donate and pray for the victims, survivors, and first responders who will have to cope with this tragedy for the rest of our lives. I am attempting to get in contact with James Shaw Jr as I would like to invite him to dinner with my family to show him who and what he saved with his act of bravery. If anyone can assist me in getting in contact with him it would be greatly appreciated. He is my living guardian angel and I will be forever grateful. God is real and I will use this second chance at life to serve him and tell everyone who will listen of his power.







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