Morton man unlikely to stand trial for Waffle House shootings

By Holly Eitenmiller For Chronicle Media

Travis Reinking, 29

Chances are Travis Reinking, a former Morton resident people nationwide have now come to call The Waffle House Shooter, will be deemed unfit to stand trial.

In the early morning hours of April 22, Reinking, nude from the waist down, opened fire with an AR 15-style automatic weapon at an Antioch, Tenn. Waffle House, killing four and injuring several others.

A man who was in the Waffle House at the time of the shootings was credited with stopping more murders by getting the gun from Reinking.

Reinking, 29, fled the scene and was in hiding as police conducted a manhunt..

He was later that weekend apprehended in the woods nearby Antioch, arrested and charged with four counts of attempted homicide on $2 million bond. Less than 24 hours later, a Davidson County judge revoked Reinking’s bond, and, in the following months Reinking has undergone a court-ordered mental evaluation.

On Aug. 14, prosecutors, believing Reinking to likely be unfit to stand trial, requested the court approve additional intensive treatment before moving forward with the case. On Aug. 22, Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn will consider the argument.

According to The Tennessean, judges “typically side with doctors in these cases, agreeing to keep the defendants in a mental health institution until they are deemed well enough to face their charges.”

Such is the case of Andrew Rich, a Bloomington, Ill. man who beat and suffocated his wife Doris, 40, in a hotel room in 1987. Rich continues to reside at Chester Mental Health Center and has been repeatedly deemed unfit to stand trial. He will be held until 2049, or until his death.

Before moving to Tennessee, Reinking had a history of bizarre run-ins with local law enforcement. He once called police from the Morton CVS Pharmacy claiming singer Taylor Swift hacked his phone and was stalking him.

A month later, in May 2017, police were called to Tremont Pool where Reinking exposed himself then swam in his underwear. He was seen earlier that day wearing a pink bathrobe and carrying a shotgun.

While living at J & J Cranes in Tremont, the business owned by his father Jeffery Reinking, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department attempted to confiscate Reinking’s guns.

In August 2017, Travis Reinking was stripped of his Firearms Identification Card a month after he was arrested for trespassing in a restricted area of the White House.

Because Jeffery Reinking possessed a valid FOID card, the guns were placed in his possession, and he told authorities he 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,” Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston said at an April 22 press conference. Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said in press conference that Jeffrey Reinking “has acknowledged giving them back.”

Family members of two of the victims killed at the Waffle House have filed wrongful death lawsuits, naming Jeffrey Reinking as a defendant. In May, the family of Joe Perez, 20, filed suit, claiming Jeffrey Reinking was aware of his son’s state of mental health when he returned his weapons to him.

Shaundelle Brooks, the mother of Akilah DaSilva, 23, filed a $100 million wrongful death suit in July, also naming Travis Reinking and his father as defendants.

In a statement provided by Nashville attorney Daniel Horwitz, Brooks said, “The purpose of this lawsuit is to honor my son’s beloved memory, hold those responsible for his death fully accountable, and help ensure that nobody else’s family ever has to experience the sorrow and horror that we have.”

Those also killed in the shooting were DeEbony Groves, 21and Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29.







—  Morton man unlikely to stand trial for Waffle House shootings —-