Waffle House Shooter Was Previously Arrested By Secret Service, Had Guns Confiscated

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Travis Reinking, the suspect in Sunday’s early morning shooting at the Waffle House in Antioch, Tenn., was arrested in July 2017 by the United States Secret Service.

Reinking was detained at the time for trespassing in a restricted area and was subsequently interviewed by the FBI. At the FBI’s request, Illinois authorities stripped him of his Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card and confiscated four firearms, including the AR-15 he used on Sunday morning.

Following their own investigation into the matter, Illinois authorities returned the firearms to Reinking’s father. His father admitted to authorities after Sunday morning’s shooting that he had returned them to his son.

In the hours since the shooting, local and federal authorities have engaged in a wide-ranging manhunt. The AR-15 Reinking reportedly used on Sunday morning was wrested from his hands by a good samaritan on the scene, and one other firearm has been recovered since. Police believe this to mean that the other two firearms are still in Reinking’s custody, and he is still at large.

Nashville Police Spokesman Don Aaron explained the situation at a press conference on Sunday, saying, “Among the weapons seized was the AR-15 rifle used at the Waffle House today. The police department has received information that the guns were returned by Tazewell County authorities to Reinking’s father who has now acknowledged giving them back to his son. Presently two of the four guns that were given back to his son are unaccounted for.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added Reinking to their ten “most wanted” list, and authorities are now offering a $2500 reward for any information that leads to his arrest.

Aaron noted, “Travis Reinking’s whereabouts are presently unknown. Searches are on by law enforcement throughout the area, including our federal partners.”