Nashville Police: Waffle House Suspect Had Guns Confiscated After White House Intrusion | Nashville Public Radio

Nashville Police: Waffle House Suspect Had Guns Confiscated After White House Intrusion

Apr 22, 2018

Metro Nashville Police say the suspect in Sunday morning's shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch had his guns confiscated last year after being caught inside a restricted area at the White House.

Travis Reinking, 29, is still at large, and police say he still may have two guns in his possession. Police believe he fled on foot and remains shirtless but is now wearing pants.

Law enforcement shared more details of the shooting and what they've learned about Reinking at a press conference Sunday afternoon.

They confirmed that Reinking used an AR-15 rifle to kill four people and wound two others. That's even though Reinking had his right to possess firearms revoked in Illinois last year. Law enforcement in Tazewell County, Ill., confiscated four guns at the time but returned them to his father, who says he gave them back to Reinking. 

Reinking recently relocated to Nashville, where he's been working in construction. His apartment was searched today, and two of those guns have not been accounted for.

Police have also identified the four people who were killed in the shooting. They are Taurean Sanderlin, a 29-year-old Waffle House employee who lives in Goodlettsville; Joe Perez, a 20-year-old patron who was outside the restaurant; Akilah Dasilva, a 23-year-old who was critically wounded inside the restaurant and later died; and Deebony Groves, a 21-year-old woman from Gallatin killed at the scene.

Police ask anyone with information on Reinking or his whereabouts to contact the Emergency Communcations Center at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

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Metro Police are now drafting warrants to arrest Travis Reinking, who is suspected of killing four people and injuring several others at a Waffle House in Antioch. A press conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m.

A truck registered to Reinking was left at the scene, according to police. Law enforcement officials say he drove up to the restaurant around 3:25 a.m. wearing nothing but a green jacket. He walked up to the restaurant carrying an assault rifle (pictured here). Then he opened fire, according to the police account, until a patron wrestled away his gun. In the process he shed his jacket and fled in the nude, though he may have been spotted at a treeline later wearing pants but no shirt.

It's unclear what motivated the man or whether he knew the people he killed. But police considered him armed and dangerous.

Nashville Mayor David Briley released a statement saying, "There's clearly more to be said about these circumstances," but asked people to rally around the victims.

Congressman Jim Cooper of Nashville used the moment to reinforce his position on restricting access to assault weapons.

What Happened Inside

A 29-year-old who was injured in the chaos is being called a hero. The Tennessean talked to James Shaw Jr., who apparently tackled the shooter and threw his rifle over the counter.

"I was just trying to get myself out," he told the paper. "I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it."

An eyewitness has been talking to reporters on the scene, saying that a "lunatic with an assault rifle" got out of his pickup truck, shot two people outside the restaurant, then shot through the glass before entering the Waffle House and opening fire again.