UPDATE: Morton man arrested for killings in Tennessee Waffle House

By Holly Eitenmiller For Chronicle Media


Travis Reinking, who previously lived at two Morton addresses, was arrested in Nashville, Tenn. Monday, April 23 for the shooting deaths of four people in a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville on April 22. (Photo courtesy of Metro Nashville PD)

A Morton man is in police custody in Tennessee following the shooting deaths of four people in a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville on the morning of Sunday, April 22.

The Metro Nashville Police Department announced the arrest of 29-year-old Travis Reinking Monday afternoon.

He was reportedly tracked down after purchasing a car from a dealership in Brentwood, a Nashville suburb.

Police were able to find him using the GPS device, according to reports.

Wearing only a jacket,  Reinking pulled up to a Waffle House in Antioch, Tenn. southeast of Nashville and opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle, killing four and injuring several others, according to police.

Bystander James Shaw, Jr., 29, tackled Reinking, who stripped off his jacket and fled by foot, nude.

According to The Tennessean newspaper, Reinking had most recently been living in Discovery Mountain, a gated apartment complex in Nashville. Local police, however, believe Reinking may return to to his Illinois roots.

According to Tazewell County court records, Reinking previously lived at two Morton addresses; 313 Circle Drive and 27348 Broadway Road, his parents’ residence. Reinking’s record in Tazewell County consists solely of traffic offenses.

Reinking is 6-feet 4-inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

At a Sunday afternoon press conference, Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston said Reinking is considered “armed and dangerous” and that it’s a “distinct possibility” he could return home.

The AR-15 registered to Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, which was left at the Nashville, Tenn. Waffle House after a partially-nude Reinking opened fire, allegedly killing four people in the early morning hours of April 22. Bystander James Shaw, Jr. tackled and disarmed Reinking.

At one time, Reinking owned four firearms, including the assault rifle that likely was used in the shooting. The firearms were confiscated in August 2017, one month after he was arrested for trespassing in a restricted area of the White House.

On Aug. 24, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department received notification that Reinking’s Firearms Owner Identification Card was revoked, and sheriff’s deputies located him at his father Jeffery Reinking’s business, J & J Cranes, Inc. in Tremont, and confiscated the guns.

Because Jeffery Reinking possessed a valid FOID card, the guns were placed in his possession, and he, in turn, vowed to keep the weapons secure and out of his son’s reach.

“We have no information concerning how Travis Reinking obtained possession of the weapons subsequent to them being taken from him,” Huston said.

Jeffrey Reinking has the legal and Constitutional right to possess the weapons, Huston said.

“It’s a very serious matter, and we need to be on solid legal ground in order to seize someone’s property,” he said. “It’s our understanding of the law, that under Illinois law with the father possessing a valid FOID card, that (the father) had the right to possess the weapons.”

Before his Washington, D.C. arrest last August, Reinking exhibited signs of “paranoid delusions” on a number of occasions, according to reports.

According to copies of police reports provided by Huston at the press conference, Reinking had encounters with local police that documented instances of the shooter’s bizarre behavior.

Police vehicles stationed at the Morton home of Jeffrey Reinking, father of Travis Reinking, 29, who is wanted for killing four people at a Tennessee Waffle House April 22. Tazewell County Police had previously confiscated four weapons from Reinking, which likely included the AR-15 assault rifle he used in the shooting. (Photo by Holly Eitenmiler / for Chronicle Media)

In May 2016, police encountered Reinking at a CVS pharmacy in Morton, where he told officers he believed singer Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his cell phone. He also threatened to commit suicide, according to police.

One month later, Tremont Police were called to the public swimming pool where Reinking had exposed himself and was swimming in his underwear. Another person reported to the police that Reinking also was seen wearing a pink house coat and had a rifle.

On Aug. 11, 2017, Reinking spoke to police about filing a report, because he believed more than 20 people were tapping into his computer and phone, and claimed that he heard people barking outside his home like dogs.

“I think that anybody who reads the police reports we have here would conclude that there’s certainly evidence that there’s some sort of mental health issues involved,” Huston said.

Huston said the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department is not involved in the investigation, but he has offered assistance to the agencies involved.

Reinking is listed with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “10 Most Wanted Fugitives.”

“We’ve been in contact with the state police and the FBI,” Huston said. “The local FBI office in Peoria is involved and a special agent in Springfield.”






— Morton man wanted for killing four in Tennessee Waffle House —-