Four people were killed and another four wounded when 29-year-old Travis Reinking opened fire in a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee before fleeing in the nude around 3:25 a.m. local time.
The Metro Nashville Police Department says that Reinking, of Morton, Illinois, was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apts. on Mountain Springs Dr. near the Waffle House, wearing black pants and no shirt. At this time, police are using a helicopter to hunt for Reinking, who authorities say is considered “still armed and extremely dangerous”.
Reports indicate that a massive manhunt was underway Sunday morning in search of Reinking. In addition to the helicopter, police dogs tracked Reinking to a nearby wooded area with power line towers. While police believed he is no longer armed, they said he has “a propensity for guns”, so they are not ruling out the possibility that he may be armed and dangerous.
According to hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Wetzel, three victims were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. One victim died at the hospital, while one person remains in critical condition and one person is in critical but stable condition. Furthermore, two people were taken to Southern Hills Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries and released on Sunday morning.
At this time, police believe that the shooting was random.
After the shooting, Reinking shed his jacket and was nude when he went to a nearby apartment complex, where police believe he lives. A witness told police that they saw him leaving wearing only black pants. Two people were fatally shot outside the restaurant as Reinking allegedly started firing his “assault-type rifle” as he got out of his truck, police said. One person was shot inside the restaurant and a fourth person died at a hospital. Six total people were shot, and others sustained injuries from flying glass and debris.
A 29-year-old male patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle, police said, and suffered minor injuries. The patron ran to the restaurant’s restroom area and watched the shooting. When he saw Reinking looking at his rifle, he rushed him. He got the gun away from Reinking and threw it over the counter. Police called the patron “a hero.”
The vehicle Reinking arrived in to the restaurant is registered to him, and his driver’s license had a Morton, Illinois, address. Morton is located outside Peoria, about 150 miles southwest of Chicago.
The Waffle House Company released the following statement to ABC about the tragic shooting:
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident. Right now, our first thoughts are with the victims and their families, and we will be there for them in this most difficult time. We are still gathering the details, and so we do not have much information to share. While this is an active investigation, we defer all questions about the incident o the Metro Police in Nashville. Our Senior Vice President, Area Vice President, Division Manager and other members of management are on site now to assist in any way they can. We also have a corporate team on the way from Atlanta. This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family, and we ask everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”
Police are asking that anyone with information about the shooting, Reinking, or his whereabouts call 615-862-8600.
Who Is Travis Reinking?
Travis Reinking, 29, has been identified as the gunman who killed four people in a shooting at a Waffle House outside of Nashville.
According to CNN, Reinking was previously arrested by the US Secret Service for trespassing and being in a restricted area near the White House, authorities said. Police said that Reinking, from Morton, Illinois, moved to Nashville in 2017 and worked a job in construction. Furthermore, police say that he had been fired from one job in April and began another construction job on Monday, April 16, but didn’t show up for work on Tuesday, April 17.