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Waffle House Mass Shooting: What We Know About The Suspect

Travis Reinking is the 29-year-old man who brutally shot up a Tennessee Waffle House and killed four innocent people along with injuring many more. He was a former construction worker from Morton, Illinois and it was over the weekend when Travis committed these savage acts of murder. But according to multiple news outlets such as the BBC and ABC News, Travis was known to police and even Secret Service agents. As reported by the BBC: ‘Mr. Reinking, originally from Illinois, was already known to authorities after he was arrested outside the White House last year.’ It was last year in July when Travis was caught with an unlawful entry near the White House and a police report said that Travis told Secret Service agents that he was a ‘sovereign citizen and has a right to inspect the grounds.’

It was after that arrest that police took away Travis’ Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and also confiscated four of his legally owned guns. The AR-15 which he used to shoot up the waffle house is one of those confiscated guns according to the BBC. But the same article done by the BBC said ‘authorities said the guns were returned to the suspect’s father, Jeffrey Reinking after he asked to keep them.’

It was on Sunday when Travis entered into a Waffle House and opened fire. It was in the early hours of the morning when Travis parked outside of the restaurant in his gold Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and waited several minutes before entering. According to an ABC News article, Travis was wearing no pants or a shirt and was only donning a green jacket as well as the AR-15 rifle. Four people were shot dead and another four were wounded by bullets or glass.

29-year-old James Shaw Jr. saw an opportunity to save lives and literally pounced on it. According to ABC News: ‘while Reinking was attempting to reload, James Shaw, Jr., standing by the bathroom area of the restaurant, confronted him and wrested control of Reinking’s gun and “tossed it over the counter,” according to police.’

29-year-old Waffle House employee Taurean Sanderlin and 20-year-old customer Joe Perez were both shot dead as they were standing outside the establishment. 23-year-old Akilah Sasilva and a 21-year-old unidentified woman were both shot inside the restaurant but Akilah succumbed to her injuries later in the hospital. After hero James Shaw Jr. stopped the attack from continuing, Travis fled on foot back to his parent’s apartment. It has been reported by ABC News, that Travis took off his green jacket during the time that he was running away.

As reported by The Guardian, Travis fled to the woods nearby and by Monday, police had already searched his apartment and took him into custody. Nashville police lieutenant, Carlos Lara, told reporters that they were tipped off about Travis’ whereabouts after construction workers spotted him. He was caught carrying a black backpack, a silver semi-automatic weapon, and .45-caliber ammunition.

On Monday he was charged with four counts of criminal homicide and a judge has since revoked his $2 million bond. 

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