By now, you’ve probably heard the tragic (and bizarre) story of a nearly-nude man entering a Tennessee Waffle House in the early morning hours of Sunday, opening fire and killing four people.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have identified the shooter as a 29-year old Travis Reinking, of Morton, Illinois. He’s now added to their Top Ten Most Wanted List.
As it happened, Reinking approached the Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee at around 3:25am, fired several rounds with an AR-15 through the window, then entered.
At the time, he was nude, except for a jacket.
A hero on the scene, 29-year old James Shaw, Jr. described a chaotic scene, where what they first heard sounded like plates crashing, only to find out moments later that someone had shot through the windows.
After killing 4 (2 on the outside of the restaurant) and injuring 7 more, Reinking either stopped to reload, or the gun jammed, but Shaw saw an opportunity and managed to wrest the gun away from the shooter, burning his hand on the gun barrel, in the process.
He tossed the gun behind the counter, as Reinking made an escape.
If his nude attack wasn’t bizarre enough, it turns out that he was previously arrested by the Secret Service.
That’s right. He was on the radar of authorities.
In July 2017, the U.S. Secret Service arrested Reinking for being in a “restricted area” near the White House, according to the Secret Service. After the arrest, his Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and local Illinois police seized four weapons.
“Among the weapons seized by those authorities was the AR-15 rifle used at the Waffle House today,” said Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron at a Sunday afternoon news conference.
Remember the story from last summer about a man in a restricted area around the White House, and how after searching his car they found firearms?
This is that guy.
During that event, he was instructed to move away from the restricted area. He informed them he had to speak with the president. They told him he would have to get with a tour group to do that. He reiterated that he was there to speak to the president, referred to himself as a “sovereign citizen” and said he had the right to “inspect” the White House grounds.
For those with questions, “sovereign citizens” are this freakish new, subculture of anti-government people who don’t want to live by the rules of the nation. They want to pick and choose what rules they feel apply to them, ignore everything else. They’re particularly against taxation, and claim no authority but their own.
This is the truly maddening part:
The weapons he had confiscated by authorities were given to Reinking’s father. His father gave them back to him, including the weapon that was used to shoot up the Waffle House.
Reinking remains at large. There is a $2,500 reward for his capture.