What We Know So Far About Waffle House Shooting Suspect Travis Reinking

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The Metro Nashville Police Department announced on Monday that Travis Reinking, the suspect wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House, had been arrested following a daylong search involving more than 150 law enforcement officials.

While details about what motivated him are scarce, here’s what we know about Reinking himself.


A native of Morton, IL, 29-year-old Reinking is believed to have moved to the Nashville area sometime last fall, and had been working a construction job in town.

He was no stranger to law enforcement. Throughout Reinking’s various run-ins with police, there has been a common thread of mental instability, with one officer writing in a report on the June 2017 incident that “Travis has some mental problems and I asked him if he would like to speak to (the Emergency Response Service) but he stated he didn’t want to. Travis had already spoken to them before and been in the hospital.”

In 2016, he was contacted by police at the request of his parents and grandmother. Reinking told the officers that he believed he was being stalked by pop superstar Taylor Swift, who he claimed had hacked into his Netflix account.

In June 2017 he was wanted in connection with threatening someone with an AR-15. He reportedly fled the scene and dove into a nearby swimming pool, where he then began fighting with the lifeguard on duty.


A month later, Reinking was apprehended by United States Secret Service officers after he attempted to cross into a restricted area of the White House in an attempt to meet with President Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post, Reinking told the officers that he was a “sovereign citizen” (a common trope among the far-right wing which asserts a degree of immunity from government action) and that he had a right to “inspect the grounds.”

Following Reinking’s White House arrest, FBI officials visited his home in Illinois, revoked his firearm license, and confiscated four guns—including the AR-15 he reportedly used in Sunday’s massacre. The officials gave the guns to Reinking’s father, who returned the weapon to his son shortly thereafter.


Days before shooting up the Waffle House, police said that Reinking stole a BMW and lead them in a vehicular pursuit that ended when the officers opted to track the car by GPS. Police later found the car parked at Reinking’s apartment complex.

It is unclear what, if any, mental healthcare Reinking was undergoing at the time Sunday’s shooting. According to reports from the scene of the shooting, he opened fire wearing nothing but a green jacket.


Police have yet to release an official motive for the shooting.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.

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