Waffle House shooting leaves 4 dead, 4 injured in Tennessee — live updates

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Four people were killed and several others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Tennessee early Sunday, authorities said. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department identified the suspect as 29-year-old Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois, who was still at large Sunday afternoon.

The shooting took place at the Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch around 3 a.m. local time.

Reinking arrived at the Waffle House parking lot, exited his truck and began firing an AR-15 at two people outside the restaurant, Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said. He then went inside the restaurant and opened fire.

Authorities discovered two magazines of AR-15 ammunition in a green jacket Reinking left behind. “He clearly came armed with a lot of firepower to devastate the south Nashville area,” Aaron said.

“There is a chance that Reinking is at large with two other weapons,” he added.

Police said they were not aware any motives for the shooting.

“We suspect some mental issues but at this time there’s no notes, no verbal explanations so we don’t have a motive at this time,” Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said in a news conference Sunday.

Police said James Shaw Jr., 29, rushed Reinking, wrestled him to the ground and was able to grab his weapon. Shaw’s hands were severely burned from grabbing the AR-15.

“I saw an opportunity — my window — so I took it. I ran through the door as fast as I could and just kind of jammed him up with the gun when it pointed down. We started wrestling and fighting for it. I just took it and tossed it over the counter. I pushed him out of the restaurant and he walked off,” Shaw told WTVF.

“If I let him load that weapon it wasn’t going to be another chance,” Shaw said.

Of the four people who were injured, two of them were shot, Aaron said. Police shared an image of the weapon used in the shooting. 

In July 2017, Reinking was arrested by U.S. Secret Service for being in a restrictive area near the White House. His guns were taken away and given to his father, who eventually gave Reinking the guns back, Aaron said. 

At the request of the FBI, his firearms authorization was revoked and four weapons were seized. The guns were given to his father who ultimately gave them back to his son. Aaron said police discovered two guns, but two others were still unaccounted for.

The image used in Sunday’s shooting.

Metro Nashville Police Department

A witness, Chuck Cordero, said he watched the gunman shoot his friend, who works as a cook at the restaurant.

“He pulled up, he got right out, he was prepared to do what he did. He didn’t look around for anybody, he just kinda got out and just started shooting and there just happened to be two people standing right outside,” Cordero told WTVF.

Another witness, BJ McMurry, was inside the restaurant during the shooting. He said the “number one thing I could think about was calling my wife and my son.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone there like that — someone lying on the floor bleeding and there’s nothing you can do,” McMurry told WTVF. 

Waffle House issued a statement saying they were “deeply saddened” by the “tragic incident.”

“This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family, and we ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers,” the statement said.

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