A day after he gunned down four people and wounded two others at the Waffle House in Nashville, Tenn., the suspect Travis Reinking, 29, was apprehended Monday afternoon, according to local police.
Nashville police said the suspect was placed in custody after a tip from a citizen. He was captured without incident while walking through a wooded area. His lone statement to the police was a request for a lawyer. The police said he was taken to the hospital to be checked out, and then onto jail where he’ll booked on four counts of criminal homicide.
Nashville Chief of Police Steve Anderson said the arrest was a “community effort,” referring to the tip.
Part of that community effort transpired shortly after Reinking opened fire. Without the quick intervention of James Shaw Jr. there would probably be even more fatalities. During a news conference, Shaw, who wrestled the AR-15 from the suspect, said he was no hero. “I was completely doing it just to save myself,” he said, fighting back tears.
Despite his quick and brave action there was no way he could save Akilah DaSilva, 23, an aspiring musician; DeEbony Groves, 21, a student at Belmont University; Joe Perez, 21, who was there as a customer; and Taurean Sanderlin, 29, an employee at the restaurant.
All of them were people of color, but thus far there has been no indication of the suspect’s motive. The tragedy was a chilling reminder of the executions by Dylan Roof, who shot and killed nine Black members at a church in Charleston, S.C., three years ago.
DaSilva’s brother and cousin appeared on CNN Monday and extolled him and his dedication to become a professional in the music industry. His girlfriend, Shanita Waggoner, was one of those wounded.
According to police reports, Reinking, who is white, had twice had guns removed from his possession, including once by his father. Last summer, he was arrested by the Secret Service for trespassing near the White House. On being accosted by an officer, Reinking said he was a “sovereign citizen” with every right to “inspect the grounds.” He said he was there because he wanted to meet with the president.
He was charged with unlawful entry but charges were dropped after he completed his community service.
It was also reported that Reinking had a history of delusion, including his belief that Taylor Swift, the singer, was stalking him.