Suspect in Tennessee Waffle House shooting arrested

Travis Reinking

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The man suspected of killing four people and injuring four others after opening fire inside a Tennessee Waffle House has been arrested following a massive manhunt, according to police.

Travis Jeffrey Reinking, 29, was taken into custody on Monday afternoon, moments after a press conference in which police said they had no new leads.

“Murder suspect Travis Reinking is in custody. Arrested moments ago,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Department tweeted just after 2 p.m. ET.

In a second tweet, police said that Reinking was found “in a wooded area near Old Hickory Blvd & Hobson Pk.,” which is less than two miles from the Waffle House.

Pictures tweeted by the Metro Nashville police showed Reinking in the back of a patrol vehicle wearing a torn red long-sleeve shirt and dirty blue jeans. He appears to have scrapes on his skin.

Reinking had been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Top 10 Most Wanted” list after the Sunday morning shooting, according to the agency’s Twitter page.

Approximately 160 law enforcement officers on the federal, state and local level had spent hours searching for Reinking in the neighborhoods near the Antioch Waffle House where Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29; Joe R. Perez, 20; DeEbony Groves, 21; and Akilah Dasilva, 23, were all killed, officials said.

Police began going door-to-door on Monday after no credible reports of Reinking’s whereabouts had been made. The last sighting of the 29-year-old was on Sunday when a neighbor saw him enter the woods behind his apartment complex.

Don Aaron, public affairs manager with the Metro Nashville Police, said that investigators now believe Reinking stole a BMW last week after visiting a dealership and somehow obtaining a key fob. Police said Reinking refused to give his name or identification to sales associates before taking off in the car. Because of GPS technology in the car, it was later located at Reinking’s apartment complex by Brentwood, Tennessee, police. But because officers didn’t know who took the car and it was empty when they found it, they were unable at the time to link the theft to Reinking.

When police searched Reinking’s apartment after the Sunday morning shooting, they found the BMW starter.

Aaron also said a computer case was found by a citizen in a Davidson County, who took it home to a different county in Tennessee. When the citizen opened the computer case, they found a a hand written identification card with Reinking’s name and phone number inside.

Aaron added that it was unclear if Reinking dropped the computer case before or after the shooting.

When asked if he had heard reports that Reinking was “hurling racial slurs” at a nearby supermarket, Aaron said “I have not.”

Questions had been raised about the racial nature of the shooting because Reinking is white and three of the people he is suspected of killing are black and one is Latino.

Reinking’s alleged shooting spree was not his first encounter with law enforcement. He was arrested last year after “crossing an exterior security barrier near the White House Complex” on July 7, according to Aaron.

After that incident, Illinois revoked Reinking’s license to carry firearms and seized four guns but Illinois authorities then returned those firearms to Reinking’s father, who Aaron said admitted to giving the weapons back to his son.

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