The FBI announced the arrest of Travis Reinking, 29, the suspected gunman who went on a shooting rampage inside a Waffle House restaurant wearing only a coat and nothing on underneath. He was captured on Monday while walking through the woods.
After a massive manhunt involving 160 FBI, federal marshals and law enforcement officers, Reinking was taken into custody alive after some resistance. Police say a “citizen’s tip” led to his arrest.
On Sunday, Reinking walked into the Waffle House restaurant with an AR-15 assault rifle and opened fire, killing four and wounding 4. Waffle House hero James Shaw, Jr. (pictured top center) charged Reinking and disarmed him before any more patrons were killed.
Shaw Jr. attended a press conference in Nashville on Sunday with FBI Special Agent In Charge, Matthew Espenshade (L) and Metro Nashville Mayor David Briley (right). Shaw, Jr., 29, took action disarming the gunman and ultimately forcing him out of the Waffle House restaurant.
Killed were Akilah Dasilva, 23; DeEbony Groves, 21; Joe R. Perez, 20; and Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29.
Reinking, of Morton, IL, fled the scene naked. He was known to the FBI following an incident in August 2017, when he was forced to surrender 3 rifles and a handgun to officials.
Officials gave the weapons to Reinking’s father, Jeffrey Reinking, who returned the weapons to his son.
Sheriff Robert M. Huston of Tazewell County said in the news conference on Sunday that while Travis Reinking “voluntarily surrendered” the weapons on Aug. 24, his father had a firearm owner’s identification card and a legal right to take the weapons.
“He was allowed to do that after he assured deputies that he would keep them secure and away from Travis,” Sheriff Huston said.
Shaw, Jr. broke down and cried during the emotional press conference on Sunday. He embraced Waffle House President and CEO, Walt Ehmer who called him a hero. “I’m not a hero. I’m just a regular person,” Shaw said.
On Sunday, Shaw visited with the wounded people in a hospital.
“Have you met James? James saved a lot of lives,” one of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s surgeons told the father of one of the victims.
The two men embraced, crying. “Thank you,” the older man whispered to Mr. Shaw.
Photos by Jason Davis/Getty Images, Metro Nashville Police Department via Getty Images