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TN Waffle House shooter was in a police car chase last week after stealing a BMW from dealership

Waffle House at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, Tennessee. (Nashville Police Department)
April 23, 2018
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The suspected shooter who killed four people at a Tennessee Waffle House early Sunday morning is still on the loose, and police said Monday afternoon that the man was also involved in an unrelated police chase after stealing a BMW last week.

Travis Reinking, 29, stole a BMW from a dealership in Brentwood, Tennessee, last Tuesday, according to Don Aaron, public affairs manager of the Metro Nashville Police. Aaron was speaking at a press conference on Monday.

The suspect went into the dealership last week and asked about buying a BMW, but he refused to provide identification when asked for it, and Reinking then stole a car off the lot.

Brentwood Police engaged Reinking in a chase during rush hour, but police didn’t continue with the pursuit due to heavy traffic. The car was later found at the suspect’s apartment building. It wasn’t known who stole the car at the time because Reinking had refused to provide identification, Aaron pointed out.

Reinkin’s motive remains unknown, and he is still at large as the manhunt continues.

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Aaron said Monday that the suspect will eventually have to come out of the woods, if that’s where he’s hiding.

“If Reinking is still in the woods, he’s been there now for more than 24 hours, and at some point he’s going to have to try to come out for food or water,” he said.

“He shows signs of significant instability,” Aaron also said. “We are concerned for the citizenry, not just here but anywhere else he may go.”

“Given his exhibited mental instability over the many months that we’re aware of certainly adds another layer of urgency. But the highest urgency was already there given the quadruple homicide,” Aaron added.

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Reinking is wanted for allegedly killing four people with a rifle at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee, early Sunday morning. He is at large as of Monday afternoon – more than 24 hours later – and might have weapons on him, police have warned.

It was learned this week that Reinking was previously arrested by the Secret Service for being in a restrict area near the White House in 2017, officials said.

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.

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