Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Waffle House slaying suspect arrested after massive manhunt

Published:Tuesday | April 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Travis Reinking sits in a police car after being arrested in Nashville, Tennessee yesterday.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP):

The mentally unstable gunman suspected of opening fire at a Waffle House restaurant in the middle of the night was arrested not far from his apartment yesterday after hiding from police for more than a day following the attack that killed four people, authorities said.

Authorities had mounted a massive manhunt for 29-year-old Travis Reinking, after the Sunday morning attacks, in which a gunman clad only in a jacket used an AR-15 rifle to kill four and injure others.

Metropolitan Nashville Police announced yesterday on Twitter that he was taken into custody not far from his apartment.

A detective from the department's specialized investigations division's narcotics unit spotted Reinking in a wood area near a construction site, Lt Carlos Lara told news reporters.

He said construction workers told officers a person matching the suspect's description walked through the area and into woods. When confronted, the suspect lay down on the ground, and officers cuffed him, Lara said.

He said Reinking carried a black backpack that held a silver semi-automatic weapon and .45-caliber ammunition. Detectives cut the backpack off of the suspect, he said.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said Reinking requested a lawyer, was taken to a hospital and would later be booked on four counts of criminal homicide.

Reinking, described as a white man with brown hair, opened fire with an AR-15 in the Waffle House parking lot and then stormed the restaurant shortly after 3 a.m. Sunday, police say. Four people were killed and four others were injured before a quick-thinking customer wrestled the assault weapon away, preventing more bloodshed. Reinking then disappeared, police said.

Police say about 20 people were in the Waffle House at the time of the shootings. They included people of different races and ethnicities, but the four people killed were minorities three black and one Hispanic.

It's not clear why Reinking opened fire on restaurant patrons, though he may have "mental issues," Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said earlier.

Police said Reinking stole a BMW days before the attack. The car was quickly recovered, but authorities did not immediately link it to Reinking.