Travis Reinking, 29, is wanted by police in connection with a fatal Waffle House shooting. Metro Nashville Police said “murder warrants are now being drafted against Travis Reinking.” Four people were fatally shot and two others were wounded in a 3:25 a.m. shooting. What were Reinking’s political beliefs? New developments about his past may hint at what he believed.
Reinking’s Facebook is devoid of any public hints about his political beliefs, and he has a Twitter account that he never used. He has not said on any public accounts if he is Republican or Democrat, and his family and friends have not yet publicly shared his political beliefs. (This story will be updated if they do.)
But in July 2017, he was arrested by Secret Service for being in a restricted area near the White House, The Tennessean reported. His Illinois firearms authorization was revoked, and local Illinois police seized four weapons, including the AR-15 used at the Waffle House. Police said they believed his father received the weapons after they were confiscated.
Public reports all say that Travis Reinking was caught in a restricted area, and arrested for scaling a fence near the White House. Some people were claiming that he jumped the White House fence “naked,” but those reports are not accurate. The only recent story about a naked man on the White House property incident is from 2014 when Obama was President, and Reinking’s incident occurred in 2017. In fact, searches for public news reports about someone jumping the White House fence or being arrested near the White House in July 2017 do not bring up anything but a woman who was caught in the area. So Reinking’s arrest did not make the news at that time.
However, DC court records reveal a few more details. Court records show that Reinking was arrested July 8 on the misdemeanor unlawful entry charge and released from custody that same day. He entered into a diversion program on July 26 and was ordered to complete community service, which he did in October. The case was dropped in November after a judge determined Reinking had successfully completed the diversion program.
The arrest report from July 2017 gives more details, shared Christal Hayes from USA Today. Reinking stated that he had to get into the White House to speak with President Donald Trump. He was told he could go on a tour of the White House, but Reinking said he was a “sovereign citizen” and had a right to inspect the grounds. Reinking then took off his tie and “balled it into his fist and began approaching AO and walked past the security barriers stating, ‘Do what you need to do. Arrest me if you have to.'” He was then escorted outside the security barrier and placed under arrest.
In addition to court records, some hints about his motivation can possibly be found on Reddit. An anonymous poster shared details about Reinking’s White House visit long before the news or the police released any information about this encounter. This person referred to Reinking as “schizophrenic” and “unstable.” They said he tried to jump the White House fence last year “to kill Trump,” and he was also allegedly obsessed with Taylor Swift. The poster said his fiance’s employer was interviewed by Secret Service last year after the incident. This was all shared before details about Reinking’s White House encounter were on the news. However, none of the details have been corroborated, so at this point it is not known if the poster’s account accurately describes what happened. The arrest report does not indicate anything about Reinking wanting to kill the President. We will update this story as more details are known.
There have been several reported incidents in 2017 of White House fence jumping that were not Reinking. In October, a Kentucky man named Curtis Combs dressed as Pikachu and jumped the White House fence. In May 2017, an individual hopped a bike rack and was taken into custody. In March 2017, an individual was found lingering on the White House grounds unnoticed for 17 minutes, peering into windows and even jiggling a doorknob. This person was identified as Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran.
This is a developing story. You can read more about Reinking and the hunt for him in Heavy’s story below.