Suspect in Waffle House Shooting That Killed 4 Is Arrested
The Illinois man wanted for allegedly fatally shooting four people at a Tennessee Waffle House early Sunday morning has been arrested, Nashville police announced.
Travis Reinking, 29, of Mortonwas, was taken into custody Monday morning, police announced after leaving the scene of the shooting. Reinking is accused of opening fire in a Waffle House, leaving four people dead and two injured.
According to a tweet from Nashville police, he was arrested Monday morning in Nashville in a wooded area near Old Hickory Boulevard and Hobson Park.
The New York Times reports the wooded area was near the apartment complex where Reinking lives. At the time, he was allegedly carrying a backpack containing a handgun, ammunition and a holster.
Police announced he refused to give a statement to detectives after being arrested and that his his movements since the shooting are not known.
Metro Nashville police allege Reinking fatally shot two people outside the restaurant before heading inside and fatally shooting two more, according to a news release obtained by PEOPLE.
At the time of the shooting, the gunman was nude except for a jacket, police have said.
Authorities have identified the shooting victims as 29-year-old Taurean C. Sanderlin, an employee of the restaurant; 20-year-old Joe R. Perez; 21-year-old DeEbony Groves; and 23-year-old Akilah Dasilva.
In July 2017, Reinking was arrested by the United States Secret Service after entering a restricted area near the White House, according to the news release. Although he was subsequently released, his Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and four weapons were seized — including the AR-15 allegedly used during Sundays incident.
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The news release states the guns were returned to Reinking’s father, who has told police he gave the weapons back to his son.
The Times, citing police reports, says that members of Reinking’s family were worried about his welfare after he allegedly behaved in a delusional manner, including saying that Taylor Swift was stalking him.
One patron, identified as James Shaw Jr., is being haled a hero after he wrestled the gun out of the assailant’s hands — stopping the violence before anyone else could be hurt, according to the news release.
The assailant walked away from the scene before police arrived. He discarded his jacket as he left, according to the news release.
Shaw has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the victims’ families.