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Police hunt for gunman who killed 4 at Antioch Waffle House

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ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) - A manhunt is underway after a 29-year-old man opened fire at an Antioch Waffle House early Sunday morning, killing four people and injuring several others.  

Travis Reinking is accused of opening fire at the Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike just before 3:30 a.m.  

Witnesses reported Reinking shot two people outside of the diner before going inside and opening fire. One witness said the gunman didn't say a word.  

PHOTOS: Mass shooting at Antioch Waffle House

In all, four people were killed and four others were hurt.  

The victims have been identified as Waffle House employee Tauren Sanderlin. The 29-year-old was killed outside the restaurant. Patron Joe R. Perez was killed while standing outside, police said.  

Twenty-three year-old Akilah Dasilva was critically wounded inside the Waffle House and later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. A 21-year-old woman, identified as DeEbony Groves, a senior at Belmont University, was also killed inside the restaurant.  

Belmont released a statement on Groves tragic death, saying in part, "The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential. We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief. Belmont will be offering counseling and other support services to members of our campus in the coming hours and days.” 

Shanita Waggoner, 21, and Sharita Henderson, 24, were also injured and were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. An update on their conditions were not released.  

Two other victims were also injured. They have since been treated and released.  

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the victims. 

MORE: Witness: The place was packed, people were ducking under tables

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson said the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Secret Service and Homeland Security and police are all searching for Reinking.  Metro police said more than 80 officers are helping in the search. 

"We suspect some mental issues," Chief Anderson said. "But we don't have a motive at this time. I don't have a report of him saying anything else."  

At the time of the shooting, police said Reinking was naked, except for a jacket and was using an assault-style weapon.  

James Shaw Jr. Is being hailed a hero for tackling the gunman and getting the gun away from him. He suffered cuts on his hands and was grazed by a bullet.  

"I just knew it was me or him," said Shaw. "I did that completely out of a selfish act. I was doing it to save myself. I wasn’t terminator or superman.  I figured if I was going to die, he was going to have to work for it. So I rushed him."  

Police believe after the shooting, Reinking went back to his Antioch apartment and put on pants.  

Police believe the 29-year-old is not wearing a shirt or shoes.  He may be armed with a pistol. 

Waffle House released a statement earlier Sunday, saying, "This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers." 

Late Sunday, Metro-Nashville Public Schools said all schools will remain open on lockdown procedure on Monday. 

We want to provide important information regarding our plans for school tomorrow (April 23) in light of the ongoing search for the Waffle House shooting suspect. All schools in the search area have been checked and cleared by Metro Police and MNPS School Security. Our school security will continue to check and monitor schools throughout the evening.

On Monday morning, we will focus security personnel in the area and schools will follow lock-out procedures until the manhunt has ended or the police notify us the suspect is no longer in the area. As a reminder, lock-out means students will be free to move throughout the building as usual, however there will be no guests or visitors allowed to enter the building. Family members who must check out their child early should send a note or call the school notifying them of their plans and arrival.

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Reinking is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. 

Anyone with information on Reinking's whereabouts is urged to call 615-862-8600 or 1-800-TBI-FIND. immediately. He should be considered armed and dangerous. A reward up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to his arrest. 

Reinking will face at least three counts of criminal homicide. 

MORE: Who is accused Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking?

Reinking has history with law enforcement. Last summer he was arrested by the Secret Service in Washington, D.C., for entering a restricted area near the White House.  

Because of that incident his license to own guns was revoked in his home state of Illinois in October of 2017. His weapons were seized.   

Early this year, the Sheriff's department in Tazewell County, Illinois returned the guns to Reinking's father, including the AR15 used in the Waffle House shooting in Antioch Sunday morning. It is not clear whether the father gave the guns back to his son, or whether Reinking took them.  

 


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