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TN Waffle House shooting suspect arrested by Secret Service in 2017; guns confiscated then returned; still at large

Waffle House at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee. (Nashville Police Department)
April 22, 2018

Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old suspect wanted for killing four people with a rifle at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee, early Sunday morning was previously arrested by the Secret Service, officials said Sunday afternoon.

Reinking is still at large as of 4:30 p.m. EST. Police also suspect that Reinking may currently have two weapons on him.

“There is a chance that Reinking at this moment is at large with two other weapons,” police spokesman Don Aaron said.

The Nashville police announced at a press conference that Reinking was arrested for being in a restricted area near the White House in 2017.

As a result of the arrest, Reinking’s Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and local Illinois police seized Reinking’s four weapons, including the AR-15 he allegedly used at the Waffle House around 3:25 a.m. Sunday morning.

Eventually the weapons were returned to Reinking’s father, who then returned them to his son at some point, authorities said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added Reinking to its top-10 most wanted list.

Nashville police have said a total of six people were shot and two others injured. Four of those shot have died. The two other victims were receiving treatment at Vanderbilt Hospital.

Someone visiting the Waffle House at the time of the shooting wrestled the rifle away from the shooter. Metro Nashville Police released a photo of the gun, which appears to be an AR-15.

Waffle House released a statement on Twitter and said: “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”

Waffle House Public Relations Director Pat Warner said that they are sending their corporate team from Atlanta to Nashville and that their thoughts are with the affected.