Waffle House Shooting

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

A gunman opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Tennessee, at 3:25 am Sunday. Six people were shot, including four who died and two others were injured.

The Metropolitan National Police Department tweeted that a patron “wrestled away the gunman’s rifle” and that he was nude and fled on foot. “The man who wrestled the gun away is a hero,” Metro Nashville police spokesperson Don Aaron told CNN.

The patron was later identified as 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., who spoke with the Tennessean. “I don’t really know, when everyone said that, it feels selfish,” he said when asked about the descriptions of him as a hero. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.” He said he was grazed by a bullet, treated for a minor gunshot wound, and released from the hospital Sunday morning.

Shaw described the incident and his decision to wrestle the gun away from the gunman at a press conference on Sunday. “He was going to have to work to — work to kill me,” he said.

Side note:  As Waffle House executives assisted employees and spoke with law enforcement in the aftermath of Sunday’s deadly rampage at the Antioch restaurant, a car drove up with a woman in distress.  It was about 12:40 p.m. and the crime scene was swarming with investigators and police, surrounded by crime tape.

Police tweeted that Travis Reinking, 29, from Morton, Illinois, is a “person of interest” in the Waffle House shooting. They identified him because the vehicle he arrived in was registered under that name. They said murder warrants have been drafted against him and warned he may be carrying two guns.

Police say the gunman was naked except for a green jacket at the time of the shooting, after which he shed his jacket and fled. However, the description has since changed, and he was spotted near an apartment complex wearing black pants.

Police tweeted a picture of the rifle used by the gunman on Sunday.

The US Secret Service said that Reinking was arrested near the White House in July 2017 for being in a “restricted area.” After his arrest, his Illinois firearms authorization was revoked, and the police seized his weapons, including the AR-15 he used at the Waffle House shooting. Police believe his father received the weapons after they were taken away and returned them to him.

The motives are unknown, but the victims are all black or Hispanic. The fact that he was mostly naked indicates mental illness, which begs the question why his father returned the AR-15 to his son.

The Waffle House shooting suspect identified himself as a “sovereign citizen” during arrest outside the White House last year, so that may lead to evidence of white supremacy:

Police are also saying that the suspect in Waffle House shooting stole BMW, eluded police chase days before attack that killed four.  They have no clue as to his current whereabouts and he may have left the area.

UPDATE (2:07 pm)