Waffle House Shooting Suspect Had Guns Taken Away Twice

The Nashville Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking reportedly had his firearms taken away from him twice before he carried out the grizzly shooting.

Reinking, 29, owned at least four firearms before he was taken into custody on Monday afternoon. The suspected killer used a legally purchased AR-15 assault-style rifle for the crime. In June of 2017, Reinking's father took his gun collection away from him following an incident in Tremont, Illinois, according to a report by CNN.

Reinking lived in an apartment above his father's crane-rental business in Tremont, according to the report. One of the elder Reinking's employees called the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office last June, claiming that Reinking had come down from the apartment carrying a rifle and wearing a pink dress.

"Is this what you f—ing want?" he reportedly yelled. He then put the rifle in the trunk of his car and left. He was later confronted by police at a public pool, where he is said to have barged in and jumped into the pool in his dress before taking it off and swimming around in his underwear. He then reportedly got out of the pool and shouted at lifeguards that he was a man, exposing he genitals.

No one at the pool pressed charges, and Reinking reportedly left his gun in the car. Officers from the Sheriff's office went to the Jeffrey Reinking's crane rental office, where he said that he had taken his son's guns away before "when Travis was having mental problems."

"I called back Jeff Reinking and advised him of what happened and when he gets back home he might want to lock the guns back up until Travis gets mental help, which he stated he would," reads the police report.

The second time Reinking's guns were taken from him was a much more serious incident. The shooter was arrested in July of 2017 in Washington D.C., after he breached a White House security barrier without permission and told Secret Service agents that he wanted to meet with President Donald Trump.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Nashville office, Matthew Espenshade, told CNN that the FBI and local law enforcement had worked together to remove firearms from Reinking's possession after the Washington arrest. The Tazewell County Sheriff's Office seized four guns and ammunition in August, as well as Reinking's firearm owners ID.

However, police gave those guns back to Reinking's father again, and the elder Reinking promised to keep the guns away from his son.

"The officers did not believe they had any legal authority to withhold the weapons," said Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston on Sunday. "We need to be on solid legal ground in order to seize someone's property."


Following Sunday's shooting, investigators believe that Reinking's father gave the guns back to him, noting that one of them — a Bushmaster AR-15 — was the weapon recovered from the scene of the Waffle House shooting.

Reinking was taken into custody on Monday afternoon.