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Waffle House shooting near Nashville, Tennessee: what we know

Four people were killed and two others were injured after a gunman opened fire at a Nashville Waffle House early Sunday morning. Travis Reinking, the suspected shooter, was arrested on Monday.

A Louisiana Waffle House.
Julie Dermansky/Getty Images
Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

The suspected gunman who killed four people and wounded four others at a Tennessee Waffle House early Sunday morning has been apprehended, police said on Monday. The incident took place in Antioch, in the Nashville metropolitan.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said a nude man began shooting at the restaurant at about 3:25 am. A patron, later identified as 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., wrestled the gun away from him, and he fled on foot.

The police identified Travis Reinking, 29, as as a suspect in the shooting and said murder warrants were drafted against him. Police continued their search for him overnight until arresting him on Monday.

What we know

  • 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 victims were identified as Taurean Sanderlin, 29, Joe Perez, 20, DeEbony Groves, 21, and Akilah DaSilva, 23.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reinking was arrested on Monday.
  • Police said 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 later 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.
  • Pat Warner, a spokesperson for Waffle House, told Fox News members of management are at the Nashville location assisting with the incident and the company is “deeply saddened” by what happened. “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family, and we ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers,” he said.
  • Nashville Mayor David Briley tweeted that it’s a “tragic day” for the city.

What we don’t know

  • The gunman’s motives.

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