CHICAGO (CBS) — Travis Reinking, the Illinois man wanted in connection with the fatal shooting at a Waffle House near Nashville, has been taken into custody, police said Monday afternoon.
Reinking is suspected of opening fire with an assault-style rifle in the parking lot of the Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, early Sunday morning. Reinking was nearly naked, wearing only a green jacket and brandishing an assault-style rifle when he opened fire in the parking lot, then stormed the restaurant, police say.
Four people were killed, and four others were wounded in the attack. The carnage stopped only because of the heroics of customer James Shaw Jr., who heard the gunshots and hid near the restaurant’s bathrooms, and then grabbed the assault rifle and tossed it over the counter when the gunman stopped to load another clip into his weapon.
Reinking, a resident of Morton, Illinois, ran from the Waffle House after the shooting. Metro Nashville Police said he was arrested Monday afternoon in a wooded area not far from the scene of the shooting, and less than a mile from his apartment in Tennessee.
He was formally charged late Monday with four counts of criminal homicide and held on a $2 million bond, court records show.
Authorities said police received a tip Monday afternoon that Reinking was in the area, wearing a maroon shirt, jeans, and a dark backpack. When an officer arrived at the scene where Reinking was spotted, he saw the suspect in the woods, drew his weapon, and took him into custody.
Police said Reinking was carrying a backpack, and was armed with a silver semiautomatic .45-caliber handgun. He also had a flashlight and a holster, and was carrying a wallet containing a Colorado ID.
“It was a team effort that made this possible,” Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Reinking was taken to the county jail after his arrest.
Police confirmed Reinking stole a BMW from a local dealership last Tuesday. Brentwood police initially gave chase, but the chase was suspended due to the vehicle’s GPS capability. The car was recovered the same day near Reinking’s home.
Reinking, who arrived in the area in the fall of 2017 from Illinois, was working in the crane or construction trade, according to police. He was fired or dismissed from his job about three weeks ago and got a similar job, but hadn’t shown up for work in recent days.
Reinking has had run-ins with authorities before. In July 2017, he was arrested by U.S. Secret Service for being in a restricted area near the White House. Reinking told agents he wanted to meet with President Trump.
Reinking’s firearm owners identification card was revoked in Illinois last year, and four weapons were seized by authorities, including the AR-15 used in Sunday’s shooting, police said. The guns were returned to Reinking’s father, who told police he gave them back to his son.
An ATF official said, if Reinking’s father indeed gave guns back to him after his FOID card was revoked, the father could face criminal charges.