Police: Waffle House Shooting Suspect Arrested Last Year Near White House

Travis Reinking, the suspect in the early Sunday morning shooting at a Nashville Waffle House that left four people dead, had his weapons confiscated last year after he was arrested near the White House, Metro Nashville Police said.

In July 2017, Secret Service agents arrested the 29-year-old for entering a "restricted area" near the White House, reports The Tennessean. Secret Service representative Todd Hudson said he wanted to "set up a meeting" with President Donald Trump.

At the time, Reinking was still living in Illinois. Police there revoked his Illinois firearms authorization and seized four weapons.

"Among the weapons seized by those authorities was the AR-15 rifle used at the Waffle House today," Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters.

Police said Reinking's father took possession of the weapons, but later returned them to his son. Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson told reporters he believes Illinois law allows for seized weapons to be returned to another person with a valid gun license.

The suspect recently moved to Nashville and was working in construction. He is still on the loose and police believe he is now carrying a hunting rifle and handgun and only wearing pants. Police had not located his two other weapons, notes Nashville Public Radio.

Police have confirmed that Reiking used an AR-15 rifle in the shooting. The victims have been identified as Taurean Sanderlin, 29; Joe Perez, 20; and Akilah Sasilva, 23. A 20-year-old woman from Gallatin was also killed.

The shooting began at 3:25 a.m. at a Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike in Antioch. According to police and witnesses, Reinking entered the restaurant only wearing a jacket. He shot at two men standing outside the building, then shattered a front window. He then entered the restaurant and continued firing.

Police said seven others were taken to nearby hospitals. Two are in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and two others were treated at Southern Hills Medical Center and have been released.

Witnesses and police have credited 29-year-old James Shaw Jr. with saving lives by wrestling the gun from the suspect's hands before he could kill others. After he was disarmed, the suspect fled the scene and dropped his coat, which police later discovered had more ammunition inside the pockets. Police said

Reinking was later seen again, wearing just black pants and no shirt.


Police are still unaware of a motive for the shooting. Anyone who thinks they see him or have information on Reinking's whereabouts are asked to call Emergency Communications Center at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

Photo credit: Twitter/ Metro Nashville PD