CHICAGO (CBS) — A 29-year-old man from Morton, Illinois, is the subject of an intense interstate manhunt, after four people were shot and killed at a Waffle House near Nashville.
Travis 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. Naked from the waist down, he then stormed inside the restaurant and continued shooting.
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 ran from the Waffle House after the shooting, and has been on the loose ever since, despite a massive manhunt involving at least 80 Nashville police officers. On Monday, authorities said a laptop bag with Reinking’s name was located near I-24.
“We’re telling everybody to be very cautious. We don’t want to alarm people, but certainly everybody should take precautions,” Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said.
Shaw is being hailed as a hero for disarming Reinking before he could kill anyone else.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t get to the guy any faster,” he said. “It still doesn’t feel real, but now it’s kind of like people say I saved a bunch of lives, but there’s still people who died, so it still kind of hurts, and I saw those people.”
Among those he saw was 21-year-old DeEbony Groves, a student at Belmont University in Nashville, who planned to be a social worker.
Nashville resident Joe Perez was killed in the parking lot. His mother posted a message saying, “This is the hardest day of my life.”
In his hometown of Morton, Illinois, ATF and FBI agents swarmed Reinking’s family home Sunday afternoon. They also executed search warrants at the family’s crane business.
Reinking was known to authorities in Tazewell County, Illinois, near Peoria.
In 2016, police were called because Reinking believed singer Taylor Swift was hacking his phone and harassing him.
Reinking was described as suicidal.
In another incident, he showed up at a neighborhood pool in a woman’s housecoat, which he took off before he began swimming in his underwear.
Last July, Reinking was busted outside the White House for trying to get in so he could meet with President Donald Trump. After that, he was stripped of his Firearm Owner’s Identification Card in Illinois. However, officials said his father acknowledged giving guns to his son after that.
It’s unclear if Reinking’s father will face criminal charges.