Tazewell County authorities had previously seized AR-15 used in deadly Waffle House shooting

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This photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Travis Reinking, who police are searching for in connection with a fatal shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville early Sunday, April 22, 2018. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

UPDATE: The Tazewell County Sheriff has released all previous reports concerning Travis Reinking. 

He confirms on August 24th officers revoked Reinking’s FOID card and would have taken the weapons, however, Reinking’s father then produced his FOID card and agreed to take possession of the guns, promising not to give them back to his son. 

 The Sheriff’s Office says there is no word on where Reinking intends to go so the public should be on alert. 


The weapon used in Sunday’s mass shooting at a Waffle House in Tennessee had previously been seized by officials in Tazewell County, police said. 

Travis Reinking was arrested by Secret Service members near the White House in July 2017. He had reportedly crossed a security barrier and refused to leave the area when asked, saying he wanted to set up a meeting with the President. He was later interviewed by authorities in Tazewell County and the FBI. Tazewell County officials later seized four weapons from Reinking, including the AR-15 used Sunday. The weapons were later returned to his father. Police say Reinking’s father acknowledged he gave the weapons to his son.

Police recovered the AR-15 used Sunday, along with another firearm. There were two other firearms at his apartment, which police haven’t found yet. They believe he could be at-large with the weapons at this time. 

Reinking reportedly arrived in the Waffle House parking lot in his pickup truck around 3:19 A.M. He reportedly sat in his truck for about four minutes, looking at people inside. He got out of his truck, armed with the AR-15, and reportedly shot and killed two people in the parking lot before heading inside. 

He then allegedly entered the restaurant and began shooting. In all, four people were killed, two are hospitalized in critical condition, and two were treated and released. A Waffle House patron, James Shaw, Jr., ran into the restroom. He intervened when he noticed the shooting had stopped. He then wrestled the rifle from the shooter and tossed it to another part of the restaurant. 

Witnesses say the shooter was nude, except for a green jacket. He reportedly shed the jacket about a block from the restaurant. Investigators found the jacket with two magazines with AR-15 ammunition in it. Police believe Reinking “intended to devastate the South Nashville area.” 

Reinking reportedly lived alone in a one-bedroom apartment nearby. Based on a witness account, police believe he returned to the apartment and put on pants before continuing to a wooded area. Police helicopters and dogs attempted to track him. Several conditions lead police to believe he hasn’t traveled far. He’s on foot, believed to be barefoot, and it’s raining. Police say, unless someone picked him up, Reinking is still in the Nashville area. 

Reinking moved to the Nashville area last year. Police say he worked in the crane and construction industry. They found Reinking had been let go from a job about three weeks ago, but had recently started a new position. His new employers say he worked last Monday, but they hadn’t seen him since. 

There’s no word on a motive at this time. 

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