Suspect in Deadly Waffle House Shooting Arrested

Travis Reinking, who officials said used an AR-15 rifle to carry out a rampage at a restaurant in Nashville, was arrested on Monday.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The police said Monday that they had arrested a suspect in the killing of four people at a Waffle House in Nashville, ending a wide search that had unnerved one of the largest cities in the South.

About 160 law enforcement officials had been involved in the search for the suspect, Travis Reinking, 29, who officials said used an AR-15 rifle to carry out a rampage at a restaurant southeast of downtown on Sunday morning.

The police said they arrested Mr. Reinking on Monday afternoon in a wooded area near the apartment complex where he lived, bringing an end to a manhunt that had stretched into its second day. Only hours earlier, Don Aaron, a Metro Nashville Police spokesman, had told reporters, “We don’t know where he is. It is possible that he has left the area.”

In addition to the four people who were killed — Akilah Dasilva, 23; DeEbony Groves, 21; Joe R. Perez, 20; and Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29 — four people were wounded in Sunday’s attack.

The authorities said there would have been greater bloodshed had a 29-year-old customer, James Shaw Jr., not wrested the rifle away from Mr. Reinking while he was reloading. Mr. Reinking fled the restaurant after the attack, the police said, naked except for a green jacket.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had added Mr. Reinking to its Top Ten Most Wanted list, describing him as a 6-foot-4 white male with brown hair and brown eyes who weighs 180 pounds.

Mr. Reinking has had other encounters with law enforcement, including an arrest near the White House last July when he crossed a security barrier in pursuit of a meeting with President Trump.

Police reports show family members expressed concern for his welfare after he exhibited delusional behavior for an extended time, including expressing a belief that the entertainer Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone and Netflix account.

And after his arrest for the White House episode, Mr. Reinking, who lived in Morton, Ill., was forced to surrender three rifles and a handgun to officials in August, just months before he moved to Nashville.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Alan Blinder