“Receiving an award for playing a superhero is amazing, but it’s even greater to acknowledge the heroes that we have in real life,” Boseman said.
He continued: “So I just want to acknowledge somebody that’s here today. James Shaw Jr. Where are you? Stand. If you don’t know James Shaw Jr., he fought off a gunman in Antioch, Tenn., at a Waffle House. He saved lives. Come on up here.”
“This is going to live at your house,” Boseman told Shaw, giving him the show’s golden popcorn award.
In April, a gunman opened fire at a Waffle House, killing four people and wounding several others. Shaw, 29, was grazed by a bullet while wrestling with the gunman and burned his right hand when he grabbed the barrel of the weapon.
He has since raised almost $250,000 for the victims and their families.
Boseman took to Twitter to post a photo of himself and Shaw, writing, “THANK YOU #MTVAWARDS #BLACKPANTHER fans, you’re incredible. During the show, I was honoured to meet @JamesShawJr9. 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.”
Boseman, who starred as T’Challa in Black Panther, also won the award for best performance in a movie. Michael B. Jordan, who played the villain Erik Killmonger, won best villain.
Watch Boseman and Shaw in the video above.
—With files from the Associated Press