Waffle House shooting suspect jailed on criminal homicide charges

By Sara Shayanian, Danielle Haynes and Daniel Uria
Waffle House shooting suspect jailed on criminal homicide charges
Police captured Travis Reinking on Monday after nearly 36 hours on the run. He was arrested for allegedly opening fire at a Tennessee Waffle House and killing four people. Photo courtesy Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

April 23 (UPI) -- Travis Reinking faces murder charges Monday nearly 36 hours after he allegedly opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House and killed four people, Nashville police announced.

Officials booked Reinking into a downtown jail on $2 million bond; he faces four counts of criminal homicide, the Tennesseean reported.


The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said the 29-year-old was arrested around 1 p.m.

The arrest came after police responded to a tip by Lydia French and her construction crew, who spotted Reinking and called 911.

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"I worked out here every day last week with him living right here," French said. "All day long I kept thinking that could've been us."

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

More than 160 officers searched for Reinking with the help of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the FBI, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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"He's murdered four times with no apparent reason and no apparent motive. So we're very concerned," Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said before Reinking's capture.


On Sunday, Nashville police tweeted that Reinking was seen going into the woods near his apartment. 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."

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Metro Nashville Public Schools said on Facebook they were under "lock-out" procedures until Reinking was caught. A "lock-out" means no guests or visitors are allowed inside school buildings.

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 after tackling Reinking, disarming him and throwing the assault rifle over a counter.


U.S. Secret Service agents arrested Reinking 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.

An employer said Reinking was fired earlier this month for being paranoid and police said he stole a car from a BMW dealership in Brentwood Tuesday. Police chased him but ended the pursuit over safety concerns.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added him to its Top 10 Most Wanted list, with a $2,500 reward being offered for information leading to his arrest.

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