There are 4 dead, 2 critically wounded and 2 with minor injuries after a Sunday (4/22/2018) morning shooting at the Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike (highway 41-70) in neighboring Davidson County's Antioch community, not far from the Rutherford County line.
1. Taurean Sanderlin (age 29), Waffle House employee killed in front parking lot
2. Joe Perez (age 20) a customer killed in parking lot
3. DeEbony Groves (age 21) a senior at Belmont University
4. Akila Dasilva (age 23) died later at Vanderbilt Hospital. He was a former MTSU computer engineering technology major.
The two persons in critical condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center are Sharita Henderson (age ) of Antioch and Shanita Waggoner (age 21) of Nashville.
Naked Man Kills 4
The TBI has charged Travis Reinking with murder and he is now on "The 10 Most Wanted" list.
Witnesses told police that he pulled into the Waffle House parking lot around 3:19AM Sunday morning. The male reportedly sat in his pickup truck for a few minutes, and then got out brandishing what is described as an assault rifle. He shot and killed 2 persons in the parking lot and then went inside and started shooting. An additional person was killed there and 3 were wounded, along with 2 who received minor injuries.
The shooter was only wearing a short jacket--nothing else, he was naked.
James Shaw, Jr. Labeled "Hero" (Photo Right)
In a press conference, Metro Police spokesperson Don Aaron said, "A man inside the Waffle House heard the shots fired, and ran for cover inside the restroom. He watched the incidents through the cracked door. When he saw the shooter stop firing and looking at his assault rifle, the man in the restroom charged the shooter and wrestled the gun away. It was tossed over the counter."
It is believed that the gun may have jammed, and gave the man hiding in the restroom a split second to make a move.
James Shaw, Jr. wrestled the gun away from Reinking, He then pushed the shooter out the front door of the Waffle House.
Shaw had a bullet graze his elbow and he suffered third degree burns on his right hand. The burns were received when Shaw wrestled the AR-15 from Reinking, the gun barrel was red hot from being fired so many times. Shaw's bullet graze is thought to have happened when the front windows were shot out and bullets were flying around the restaurant.
Shaw asked not to be called a hero, and indicated that he was sad that he could not have acted earlier and saved more lives. Shaw was taken to Southern Hills Hospital. Reports indicate that when he was released, he went directly to church.
James Shaw, Jr. was born and raised in Nashville, went to college and now works for AT&T. He is a proud father of a 4-year old daughter.
Despite temperatures being in the mid 50s, Travis Reinking was wearing only a green coat--nothing more. He fled the scene on foot and dropped the jacket on the way out. It has now been learned that the pockets of the jacket held two-rounds of AR-15 ammunition.
Perhaps the shooter realized that he no longer had a weapon, so the ammo was heavy and was no longer needed. He dropped the jacket and was then totally naked.
The cold rain continued and although he had an opportunity to put on warmer clothes when he returned to his apartment after the shooting, Travis Reinking only put on pants--no shirt and no shoes. He then escaped back into the elements without much clothing.
Mayor David Briley and Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson both addressed the need to keep weapons out of the hands of persons with mental issues, noting this has been a problem in earlier mass shootings.
The circumstances of the day probably did not go as the shooter had hoped. First, his AR-15 assault rifle was wrestled away, and his pickup truck was confiscated by police. Both the weapon and the truck are being studied by forensic specialists. Papers in the truck led police to the apartments.
Police Search Suspect's Apartment
Paperwork found in the shooter's pickup truck, showed police that Travis Reinking lives in The Discovery at Mountain View Apartments, just off Murfreesboro Road and near the Waffle House. His drivers license shows that he previously lived in Morton, Illinois and that the pickup truck that was abandoned at the Waffle House is registered in Reinking's name.
A person at the apartment later told police that they saw a man leaving a unit, and that he was only wearing black pants and no shirt or shoes. He ran toward the woods where large TVA power-lines are located.
A Metro Police SWAT Team searched Reinking's apartment and left with several duffel bags of evidence.
Travis Reinking moved to Nashville in Fall, 2017 for a construction job. He was fired about 3-weeks ago. The 29-year old was just hired by another firm and his first day on the job was this past Monday, however he did not return Tuesday.
Help for Waffle House Survivors and Neighbors
The City of Nashville rushed chaplains to the Waffle House in Antioch to work with the distraught employees and customers. Upon arrival, persons in the restaurant were weeping. Some were injured by flying glass as a result of the large windows at the restaurant being shot out.
There were 3 injured persons rushed to Vanderbilt Hospital. One has died, and 2 are now in critical condition. One of the two has been stabilized as of 8:20AM (4/22/2018). Two persons with minor injuries were taken to Southern Hills Hospital. One of them is 29-year old James Shaw, Jr., the man credited as being a "hero". Shaw wrestled the suspect to the ground and tossed the rifle over the counter and away from him.
Secret Service Run-in
FBI Special Agent Matthew Espenshade told how in July, 2017, Travis Reinking was charged by the Secret Service for crossing a protective one at the White House. He did not respond when they spoke to him, so he was arrested.
The FBI interrogated him and in accordance with Illinois law, revoked his right to own weapons. Those guns were then returned to the subject's father by the Tazewell County Sheriffs Office in Morton, Illinois.
The AR-15 used in the Waffle House mass shooting was one of the weapons that was returned to the father and evidently given back to his son.
The FBI admitted to being warned a year earlier about the Waffle House Killer.
The FBI's Special Agent said in Sunday's Nashville press conference, "I believe the FBI took all the steps of federal jurisdiction that we could at the time."
K-9's have tracked the suspect, but each time lost the scent due to the constant rains that is washing away evidence.
Police now think there is a possibility that the suspect might still be hiding on the large apartment's campus or somewhere nearby.
Metro Police Chief Anderson encouraged neighbors to check on neighbors in that impacted area, and for family to check on family members who live nearby.
It is known that Reinking has a propensity for guns, and since he is believed to have returned to his apartment before fleeing again, police say that he could be armed and very dangerous. They warn, "Do not get close to him, or attempt to apprehend him." Instead, phone 911 quickly.
News, Federal and Local Authorities
On Sunday afternoon, the small shopping center across from Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike was filled with news crews, Nashville Police, the TBI, ATF and more. Below are two photos from that area on Sunday.