Waffle House shooting suspect jailed on murder charges

The gunman accused of killing four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House was arrested Monday after a frantic manhun...

Posted: Apr 24, 2018 10:37 AM
Updated: Apr 24, 2018 10:37 AM

The gunman accused of killing four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House was arrested Monday after a frantic manhunt, police said.

A tip from the community led to Travis Reinking's arrest shortly after 1 p.m. in a wooded area near his Nashville apartment, Metro Nashville Police said. He was booked into Metro jail Monday night on four counts of criminal homicide.

The arrest came roughly 35 hours after Reinking unloaded an assault-style rifle on customers and employees at the Antioch restaurant early Sunday morning. All of those killed were under 30. Two others were injured.

The shooting raised questions about Reinking's previous law enforcement encounters, and whether his father should be charged for giving him guns when he was barred from possessing them.

"Yesterday was a horrible day for the city of Nashville," Mayor David Briley said in a Monday news conference. "Today is a day where we can start to move on as a community."

Tragedy and heroism

The shooting set off a cycle of shock, grief and anxiety in the Nashville metropolitan area. Nashville public schools initiated "lock-out" procedures Monday while Reinking was on the loose. Police warned residents to keep their doors locked.

Reinking did not resist when a detective drew a gun on him, Lt. Carlos Lara said. Reinking was carrying a backpack that contained a firearm, ammunition and a flashlight. He declined to give a statement and requested a lawyer, Lara said.

It's not clear what Reinking did during his time on the run. And the motive for the attack remains a mystery.

Reinking arrived at the Waffle House in Antioch, part of the metro Nashville area, just before 3:20 a.m. Sunday.

He sat in his pickup truck for nearly four minutes "looking at people inside the restaurant," Aaron said.

Wearing only a green jacket, the gunman drew an "assault-type rifle" and fatally shot two people outside the Waffle House, police said. He continued his rampage inside the restaurant, killing two more people.

The carnage stopped when a customer monitoring the gunman's moves from afar jumped into action when he saw an opportunity.

During a pause in the gunfire, James Shaw Jr. saw the gunman looking at his rifle and rushed him, Aaron said. Shaw wrestled the firearm from him and tossed it over the counter, and the gunman fled.

Shaw denied that he was a hero, saying his actions were "a selfish act" to save himself. He started a GoFundMe account to assist victims of the shooting, a GoFundMe spokeswoman told CNN.

Reinking fled the scene completely naked, police said. They suspect he went to his apartment, put on a pair of pants and may have escaped into the woods.

What we know about the suspect

Reinking is from Morton, Illinois, and police believe he moved to the Nashville area last fall. He worked in construction but was fired from a job about three weeks ago, police said. Reinking started with another construction company last Monday, but did not show up for work Tuesday.

The 29-year-old has a history of delusions and run-ins with the law.

In May 2016, Reinking told first responders that he believed pop star Taylor Swift was stalking him, according to a police report. Reinking's family also told police he made comments about killing himself.

Last summer, Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service for trespassing near the White House.

Reinking said he wanted to meet with US President Donald Trump. He told a Secret Service officer at the northeast entrance that he was a "sovereign citizen" who had a "right to inspect the grounds," according to a Metropolitan Police Department incident report dated July 7, 2017.

He was charged with unlawful entry, but the charges were dismissed after he completed community service. At the FBI's request, Reinking's Illinois firearms authorization was revoked, and four weapons -- including the AR-15 style rifle used in Sunday's shooting -- were seized.

After the firearms seizure, Reinking was legally prohibited from possessing guns, Matthew Espenshade, an FBI agent located in Nashville, said Monday. Authorities in Tazewell County, Illinois, gave the weapons to Reinking's father, who police believe later returned them to his son.

His father, Jeffrey Reinking, could potentially face charges for transferring weapons to a person knowingly prohibited from possessing them, ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Marcus Watson said.

Police said that Reinking visited a car dealership in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood last week and somehow obtained a key fob for a 2018 BMW X6 without providing identification. He stole the car and led police on a brief chase, Brentwood Police said.

Using the car's GPS, officers tracked the car to Reinking's apartment complex and recovered it. Because they didn't know the thief's identity, no one was arrested.

The lives lost

Waffle House employee Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, of nearby Goodlettsville, and customer Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville, were shot outside the restaurant:

Inside, the gunman killed 23-year-old Akilah DaSilva of Antioch and 21-year-old DeEbony Groves of nearby Gallatin.

DaSilva's cousin said the world lost a talented young man who excelled in computer science and music -- a hard worker who never gave up and was quick to learn. "

"He was a genius. He was super smart. Smarter than me," Kareem DaSilva said. "He was very impressive."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 45°
Columbus
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Oxford
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 38°
Starkville
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 43°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather