Police: Waffle House gunman taken into custody in Tennessee

Travis Reinking being taken into custody. Photo Courtesy: Metro Nashville PD/Twitter

NASHVILLE, Tenn., April 23 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking is in custody, the Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted early Monday afternoon.

A tweet at 12:10 p.m. said Reinking was arrested “moments ago.” A follow-up tweet minutes later said: “Travis Reinking apprehended moments ago in a wooded area near Old Hickory Boulveard and Hobson Park.” The police department also tweeted two photographs of Reinking being taken into custody.

Just before he was located, the police department tweeted: “This laptop bag, empty except for a handwritten ID card bearing the name Travis Reinking, was found by a citizen near the I-24 Old Hickory Boulevard interchange. Unknown whether it was discarded before or after the shooting. Reinking is believed to have been in that area Sat. night.”

Reinking, 29, is accused of opening fire on the Nashville restaurant Sunday with an AR-15 assault rifle.

Police said more than 80 officers were searching for Reinking with the help of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the FBI, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Reinking was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, with a $2,500 reward being offered for information leading to his arrest.

“He’s murdered four times with no apparent reason and no apparent motive. So we’re very concerned,” Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said.

On Sunday, Nashville police tweeted that Reinking was seen in a wood line near the restaurant. He was spotted wearing black pants and no shirt.

“It is presently presumed that Reinking went to the apartment after the shooting, put on a pair of pants, and again fled,” Nashville authorities said in a statement. “A witness reported seeing a shirtless man matching his description in a wood line behind the apartment. MNPD officers and federal authorities are now working to determine Reinking’s whereabouts.”

Authorities said early Monday no credible sightings of Reinking were reported overnight.

Nashville authorities identified the victims of the shooting as employee Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; Deebony Groves, 21; and Akilah Dasilva, 23.

Shanita Waggoner, 21, Sharita Henderson, 24, were wounded by gunfire and being treated at Vanderbilt Hospital.

Witnesses to the shooting said Reinking sat in his car watching people at the restaurant before he entered and began shooting.

“He did not say anything,” witness Chuck Cordero told the Tennessean. “He pulled up, got out of his car and was all business.”

James Shaw Jr., 29, is credited with saving several lives for tackling Reinking, disarming him and throwing the assault rifle over a counter.

Reinking was arrested by U.S. Secret Service agents last year for being in a “restricted area” near the White House. Following the arrest, his Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and local Illinois police had seized four weapons — including the AR-15 used in Sunday’s shooting.

Police believe Reinking’s father claimed the weapons after they were confiscated and returned them to his son.

Officials said Reinking may have been in possession of two weapons, including a hunting rifle and a handgun, though it wasn’t clear whether he had these when he was arrested.

A press conference will be held by Metro Nashville PD Monday afternoon.


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