Employees this morning removed the yellow police tape that has surrounded a Waffle House in Antioch since early Sunday morning, after a man opened fire with an AR-15, killing four and injuring several others.
The shooting suspect, Travis Reinking, was arrested Monday afternoon less than a mile from the restaurant.
Waffle House is known for almost always being open: Only in the direst of circumstances will a location close its doors. The Nashville restaurant hopes resuming business will help bring back some sense of normalcy for its employees and patrons.
Joyce Perkins, one of the first lunch customers, lives just a mile and a half from this location. She is a therapist and says she understands how difficult it is to process the loss of loved ones.
She says she doesn’t eat at the chain very often but stopped by for lunch when she heard they were opening again. She ordered a waffle, hash browns and tea with a little bit of milk. But she admitted, she’s not here for the food.
“I just wanted to be present and do something and just watch the community come together,” says Perkins.
The restaurant plans to donate all proceeds over the next 30 days to the victim’s families.
In the parking lot, there are now four white crosses with red hearts and the victim’s names and photos. Grieving family, friends and even employees from nearby Waffle Houses have been stopping by all day, dropping off handwritten notes, flowers and teddy bears.
The crosses will remain there for 40 days.
Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29
Joe R. Perez, 20
DeEbony Groves, 21
Akilah DaSilva, 23