Waffle House suspect had previous bizarre interactions with police
TAZEWELL COUNTY, Illinois (Fox 32 News) - The Illinois man accused of murdering four people at a Waffle House in Nashville Sunday morning had previously had strange run-ins with police.
Travis Reinking, 29, had been arrested at the White House in July 2017 by the Secret Service. Apparently, he wanted to speak with President Donald Trump.
Following that incident, Reinking's FOID card was revoked by Illinois State Police. Tazewell County Sheriff's Deputies had allowed Reinking's father, Jeffrey, to keep his weapons. The sheriff's office said that his father agreed to "keep the weapons secure and out of the possession of Travis." It now appears that those weapons might have been used by Reinking in Sunday's shooting.
On May 27, 2016, the Tazewell County Sheriff in Morton, Illinois, had encountered Reinking during what appeared to be a mental health crisis. At the time, deputies said he believed that singer Taylor Swift was stalking him and had climbed a building to chase him. He also threatened to kill himself.
On June 16, 2017, the Tremont Police Department was called to a scene where Reinking was swimming in a public pool in his underwear and he had also exposed himself. The same police report showed that another concerned citizen had called because Reinking was wearing a pink woman's housecoat and carrying an AR-15 rifle.
On August 11, 2017, the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office reported that a sergeant had talked with Reinking about "making a report." Reinking apparently wanted to report that he believed 20 to 30 people were tapping into his computer and phone. He also said that he had been hearing unknown people barking outside his homes like dogs. The sergeant said that "Travis appeared to be very serious and concerned while telling me what was going on."
The victims of Sunday's shooting in Nashville were identfied as Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, a Waffle House employee; Joe R. Perez, 20, a patron; De'Ebony Groves, 21, a patron; and Akila Dasilva, 23, a patron. Shanita Waggoner, 21, and Sharita Henderson, 24, were wounded.
Further bloodshed was prevented by the heroic actions of James Shaw, 29, who grabbed the gun from Reinking and tossed it over the counter.
Reinking, who was naked aside from a green jacket during the attack, walked out of the restaurant, took off the jacket, then kept on walking. He has not been seen since.