NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Calm and compliant is how officers described Travis Reinking’s actions some 34 hours after he was accused of shooting and killing four people at the Antioch Waffle House in 2018.
On day two of the Waffle House shooting trial, jurors heard chilling details from another witness who survived the 2018 shooting.
Kayla Shaw was picking up a to-go order the moment the first gunshot pierced the glass window and shards flew at her face.
“All of a sudden, and I do mean sudden, there was a loud pop over my left shoulder. I felt something hit my face, I didn’t know what it was at the time. It was debris, it was glass, but in a split second, I wanted to turn over my left shoulder and curse some people out cause I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know what this force was on the side of my face, but instead, I made the decision to fall on my side and then I continued to hear what I know now is gunshots ring out, and I heard the cook behind the counter say take cover because someone was shooting,” Kayla testified from the stand. “I made a decision to lie still and breathless, I decided to play dead. Cause I figured those were my only chances. Where am I gonna go? I have nowhere to hide, I’m exposed. I played dead.”
Shaw, who is not related to “Waffle House Hero” James Shaw, went on to say she now considers James an honorary cousin, because he saved her life that day.
Several Metro police officers were called throughout day two to testify about the moments Reinking was captured and his demeanor immediately after. A number of officers said he followed commands as he was handcuffed and taken to a local hospital to be checked out, with one even describing him as a “model suspect.”
“His demeanor was one of shock, initially when we both encountered each other,” ATF Special Agent Kyle Williams said. “After the shock wore off he was compliant, following demands, maintaining visual contact with me. Once he stood up before he was walked out of the woods he hung his head, didn’t make any statements, and that was my interaction with him.”
New surveillance video was also played in court of the moments before the shooting. The clips showed Reinking arriving at the Waffle House at 3:20 a.m. April 22, 20218. His gold truck is seen pulling into a handicap space as he sits there for nearly four minutes. As soon as Joe Perez walks by, Reinking got out of the truck and began shooting. Perez did not survive and was killed just feet away from the restaurant’s entrance. Prosecutors said Reinking fired 15 rounds in 19 seconds outside the restaurant before firing 15 more inside.
During much of the day, Reinking watched the trial take place with no emotion.
New evidence also showed what Reinking had in his backpack, including a Bible, water bottles, ammunition, a wallet with more than $450 in it, silver bars, a holster and a cocked handgun. One of the officers demonstrated just how heavy the bag was by dropping it on the table at the witness stand.
The state is trying to show that Reinking doesn’t suffer from mental illness and set out with a plan for the day of the shootings. His defense attorneys claim he’s not guilty by reason of insanity.
Grueling details were also heard Tuesday night from Medical Examiner. Dr. Thomas Deerong who walked the courtroom through why the rifle in this case caused such great damage to the four victims that didn’t survive.
“The speed of the bullet makes a big difference. When high velocity first started showing up they called them exploding bullets because autopsies were done it was amazing how much injury was seen inside versus just the small size of the bullet,” he said.
The disturbing details were hard for families to sit through in the courtroom.
Reinking’s mother Judy was more emotional Tuesday, telling News 2 that the day marks his 33rd birthday.
Prosecutors are expected to call their last witness Wednesday morning.