DeEbony Groves: A Tribute to the Waffle House Shooting Victim

DeEbony Groves, Waffle House Shooting

Facebook DeEbony Groves was shot and killed after a gunman opened fire on a Waffle House in Nashville, TN.

Four people were killed and several more injured after 29-year-old Travis Reinking allegedly opened fire at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee early Sunday morning.

Reinking was captured Monday afternoon, according to Metro Nashville Police. He was taken into custody in a wooded area near Old Hickory Boulevard and Hobson Pike at 1:07 p.m., police said. Authorities say the gunman arrived in a vehicle registered to Reinking, though he walked away from the restaurant naked shortly after being disarmed by a heroic diner.

DeEbony Groves was fatally wounded by the gunman early Sunday morning. DeEbony was 21-years old and remembered as an exceptional student and star athlete at Gallatin High, and a start pupil at Belmont University where she worked her way to the dean’s list.

Here’s a tribute to Groves life and more information about the shooting:

1. Groves was Remembered as a “Very Special Person,” a Role Model and a Determined Basketball Player

According to The Tennessean, Groves was remembered as an intelligent, hardworking student and an incredible role model. Groves was a young basketball player that took her role as a defender on the team seriously, and was somebody that her teammates looked up to.

“She was a brilliant young lady, very, very intelligent and a very hard worker,” Kim Kendrick said of Groves, the Tennessean reports. “She was a very likable young lady. She was one of three seniors on her team, and she was a great role model for the other players because of her hard work and dedication to her studies and to her school.”

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Kendrick said that Groves was honored as the team’s most valuable defender.

“She took a lot of pride in that role,” Kendrick said. “Anything you asked her to do, she was going to do with all her heart.

Watch The Yard reports that classmates and friends who knew and loved Groves opened up about how “bright her soul was” and how great an impact she had on the lives of people who knew her.

Twitter was flooded with condolences for all of the victims’ deaths, especially by those who had just recently spent time with the victims. Social media users were sadly commenting on the fact that Groves was meant to graduate in just a few weeks.

Friends, family and sorority sisters have started the hashtag #RIPDeEbony to memorialize Groves.

2. Groves was a Senior at Belmont, Majoring in Social Work

According to the Tennessean, Belmont University students and staff were shattered by the news of Groves death.

“The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential,” the university said in a statement released through its communications department. “We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief.”

Belmont will be offering counseling and other support services to members of the campus in the coming hours and days, according to the statement.

The school will also be holding a time of prayer for Groves’ family during Monday’s 10 a.m. chapel service and encouraged students who need support to visit the Office of Counseling Services, according to Belmont Vision.

3. Grove’s Sorority Sister was Also Shot and is in Critical but Stable Condition

The Tennessean reports that Groves was a member of the Tau Nu Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Councilwoman Antoinette Lee met with several members of the sorority at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Sunday.

In addition to Groves, fellow sorority member Sharita Henderson was also shot and taken to Vanderbilt, Lee said. Henderson is in critical but stable condition, according to police.

Henderson was apparently a member of the sorority through another university.

4. Groves was Killed when a Gunman Opened Fire at a Waffle House in Nashville, TN

Travis Reinking

MPDTravis Reinking, 29, being hunted for Tennessee Waffle House shooting, 3 dead, 4 wounded

The alleged gunman, identified by police as Travis Reinking, was wearing only a coat when he opened fire at the Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday morning, The Tennessean reports. Reinking was armed with an AR-15 rifle when he began shooting from the parking lot of the restaurant about 3:25 a.m., police and witnesses told the newspaper.

Reinking was captured Monday afternoon, Metro Nashville Police said on Twitter. He was found in an area behind an elementary school, police said in a press conference soon after the capture. A citizen phoned in a tip and officers from a special Nashville narcotics squad captured Reinking in the woods.

Reinking has a history of run-ins with police as well as delusions, allegedly telling officials Taylor Swift was stalking him back in May, 2016. Due to this incident, Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston believed that “there is evidence there is some mental health issues involved.”

The motive for the shooting is not clear at this time. Heavy will update as more information is known.

5. Three Other People Died During the Rampage, Including Local Musician “Natrix”

waffle house victims

FacebookThe victims of the shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, have been identified as, clockwise from top left, DeEbony Groves, Joe Perez, Taurean Sanderlin and Akilah Dasilva.

Police say that Reinking allegedly began shooting patrons and employees with an AR-15 rifle about 3:25 a.m. at the 24-hour restaurant on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch, near Nashville. A total of six people were shot, according to Metro Nashville Police.

Authorities released the names of all of those who died as Joe R. Perez, 20, of Nashville; Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, Goodlettsville; and Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch and Groves.

Akilah DaSilva went by the nickname “Natrix,” and was remembered as a talented musician dedicated to helping his community by filming music videos. According to his Facebook profile, DaSilva was originally from Brooklyn, New York, and lived in Nashville. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help his family.

According to The Tennesseean, “Sanderlin worked for Waffle House for about five years.” Victim Joe Perez stated that he worked as a “sub contracter at Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics,” lived in Nashville, Tennessee, and was from Austin, Texas.

The victims who suffered non-fatal injuries were named as Shanita Waggoner, 21, of Nashville and 24-year-old Henderson, Groves sorority sister, Antioch.