The Waffle House Shooting


via Flickr

A Waffle House restaurant

Just two months after the deadly Parkland School Shooting that killed 17 people, 29 year old Travis Reinking opened fire at a Waffle House in Nashville. Reinking drove up to the Nashville Waffle House in his pickup truck. At about 3:30 am, he shot and killed two people outside, before firing into the restaurant. 3 victims died at the scene, while one died later at the hospital. Reinking was naked during the shooting. James Shaw heard gunfire and glass shattering and ran into the bathroom. The gunman shot through the door, injuring his arm. Mr. Shaw made up his mind that if Travis was going to kill him he would have to work for it. As Travis reloaded his AR-15, Mr. Shaw hit him with the door. The gun flew over the counter, and Shaw forced Travis out the building. Mr. Shaw has been hailed as a hero, although Shaw himself denies the heroism and called his actions “selfish”. He was modest and said he was just doing it to save himself.

One of the victims was 23 year old Akilah DaSilva who was studying at Middle Tennessee State University and an aspiring musician. He was wounded outside and died later in the hospital. The 2nd victim, DeEbony Groves, was 21 years old and studied Social Work at Belmont University. Joe Perez, was 20 years old and was simply going to the Waffle House for food and was fatally shot outside. 29 year old Taurean Sanderlin worked at the restaurant and was also fatally shot outside. Two others are currently in the hospital in stable condition.

34 hours after the shooting, police arrested Travis Reinking, ending a manhunt that locked down schools and sent fear throughout the communities. Police caught him hiding in the woods behind a construction site, about a mile from the shooting site. Reinking surrendered without conflict. He requested a lawyer, and refused to answer questions or say anything, including how he evaded police, search dogs, and helicopters, and the motive for his deadly shooting. Travis is scheduled in court Wednesday. In recent years, police have flagged Travis with mental instability, and extensive run-ins with authorities. Last year, police revoked his gun license and had them taken away. The police had given Travis’s guns to his father, Jeffrey Reinking, who agreed to keep them secure and away from Travis. Since the shooting, he admitted that he had returned the guns to his son. Last summer, Reinking was caught trying to cross the White House security border, declaring himself a sovereign citizen trying to see Trump. The red flags became apparent in May of 2016 when Reinking told police that Taylor Swift was stalking him, hacked into his Netflix account, and that his parents had helped in the hacking. Travis was charged with 4 counts of murder, and is at the Maximum Correction Center in South Nashville. He wears vest designed to prevent him from commiting suicide, he is not given anything he could use to kill himself, including utensils and is in solitary confinement to protect him from other inmates.