Former co-workers say Waffle House shooter exhibited signs of paranoia


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A day after a 29-year-old is accused of opening fire at an Antioch Waffle House, killing four people, some of his former co-workers are speaking out on what kind of person Travis Reinking was.  

Reinking lived in Salida, Colorado, from August 2016 to the spring of 2017. During that time, he worked at Rocky Mountain Crane.

His former boss called the now-accused gunman “a good worker” and was an “excellent” crane operator. He also said he was a “very intelligent, polite and nice person,” though he exhibited signs of “being paranoid” and “delusional” at times.

Travis Reinking. (Credit: Metro Nashville Police Department)

Three former co-workers all noted to police his infatuation with Taylor Swift, with his former manager saying Reinking had allegedly purchased a $14,000 ring for the superstar and had driven to California to try to meet her.  

One co-worker added Reinking told people at work he was going to marry Swift, but he also reported he was being “harassed and stalked by her.” He also reportedly told co-workers the pop-star was “hacking his bank accounts.” 

Reinking’s former boss told police the now 29-year-old quit Rocky Mountain Crane on March 25, 2017 under “circumstances that stemmed from him being paranoid that the police were following him.”  

At that time, he drove to Last Chance, Colorado, and claimed it was the last chance to marry Swift.  

His former manager said he reached out to Reinking’s father to let him know of concerns he had about his son’s mental issues. According to a police document, Reinking’s father said he was aware of the mental issues with his son and that he had been trying to rekindle his relationship with him.  

Another co-worker told police he knew Reinking had mental issues, but “it was hard to believe he would shoot and kill people because he just didn’t seem to be a violent person.” 

Co-workers also said Reinking admitted to being gay.  

His former employer said Reinking was not a known drinker and did not use drugs, adding he had passed every drug test he was given.

Co-workers said Reinking didn’t have many hobbies, but according to them, he played video games a lot. They also described him as a loner.  

While living in Colorado, Reinking is said to have possessed four guns, including two pistols and two rifles.  

He last spoke with a former co-worker last month and when he told her he was “doing good.”  

Reinking is now being held in lieu of a $2 million bond after being arrested after more than a 30-hour manhunt.  

He is accused of shooting and killing four people and injuring several others inside an Antioch Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike early Sunday morning.  

A motive for the shooting has not been released. He is due in court Wednesday morning.  

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