Accused quadruple murderer Travis Reinking was captured after nearly 34 hours on the run, mostly spent hiding in the woods near the Antioch, Tennessee Waffle House where police said he killed four people and injured four, two critically.
More than 160 members of law enforcement including the Metro Nashville Police Department, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, SWAT teams, K9 units and federal agents from the FBI and ATF as well as other local police department’s were involved in the manhunt for a day and a half in a densely populated area also peppered with thick woodlands in weather conditions that included near constant rain and limited to no visibility from the air to track the 29-year-old suspect.
But it was a 911 phone call from a resident who spotted Reinking that led cops straight to him near a construction site directly behind an elementary school just .7 miles from the popular all-night diner where the day before, police said he opened fire at 3:30 in the morning only to be tackled and disarmed by 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., hailed a hero for saving the lives of the 30-plus people in the restaurant.
Reinking is charged with four counts of criminal homicide, four counts of attempted murder charges and one count of unlawful gun possession in the commission of a violent felony. Initially given $2 million bail, they was quickly revoked.
Police said Reinking had a backpack with a loaded semi-automatic gun, flashlight, ammunition, and a Colorado identification card when he was caught.
Reinking was transported to be booked, evaluated medically, and then by nightfall arraigned, he refused to make a statement and asked for an attorney right away. He is being represented, by a lawyer in the Davidson County Defender’s office, according to ABC.
It was also reported, Reinking is on suicide watch inside his single, 100-square-foot cell at the maximum-security Metro Jail in Nashville and is being monitored every 15 minutes and that authorities expect him to be there a least a year as trial preparations are made.
Reinking’s next court date is May 7.
Police said Reinking began shooting patrons and employees with an AR-15 rifle about 3:25 a.m. Sunday at the 24-hour restaurant on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch, near Nashville. Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, of Goodlettsville, who worked at the Waffle House, was fatally shot while on his break outside the restaurant. Joe Perez, a 20-year-old diner from Nashville, was also killed outside the restaurant. Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch, and DeEbony Groves, 21, of Gallatin, were both shot inside the restaurant. Groves died at the scene, while Dasilva was rushed to the hospital and was later pronounced dead there.
Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service in July 2017 after he entered an area unlawfully and refused to leave. He was arrested and charged with unlawful entry but the case was tossed after he completed a first-time offender diversion program.
His guns, a 9mm handgun, a Bushmaster AR-15, a .22-caliber rifle and a Remington 710, were taken away by Illinois authorities at the request of the FBI and per state law. The weapons were entrusted to Jeff Renking who assured police he’d keep them from his son, but apparently, his father gave them back to his son.
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall told the media that the nation has “too many guns and too many mentally ill people.”
“When you put those two things together in our community, the potential for things like this is going to exist. My hope is we can find a way to reach people who are today suffering from mental illness that we can help, instead of one of these days having another one of these types of cases.”