The man suspected of killing four people in a half-naked shooting rampage inside a Waffle House outside of Nashville may be carrying two guns as he evades police — and was arrested by Secret Service last summer for being in a restricted area near the White House, investigators revealed in a Sunday news conference.
The suspect, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, had “wanted to set up a meeting” with President Trump when he was arrested in July 2017, investigators added. They did not give further specifics.
A possible motive for the shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday morning was unclear, according to police.
“Reinking was charged with unlawful entry after crossing an exterior security barrier near the White House Complex,” the Secret Service told Fox News. “Information regarding the arrest was provided to our law enforcement partners, including the FBI, at the time of arrest to ensure all appropriate authorities were aware of the circumstances surrounding Reinking’s arrest.”
Reinking’s firearms authorization was revoked at the request of the FBI after the arrest near the White House, Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said Sunday. He added that four weapons were seized, including the AR15 that Reinking allegedly used in Sunday’s shooting.
Aaron said the four guns were returned to the suspect’s father, who acknowledged giving them back to his son.
Police said they recovered the AR-15 and another gun found during a search earlier Sunday, but could not account for the two other guns.
Reinking was wearing a green jacket with no shirt and no pants during the shooting, Aaron said. After the suspect bolted from the restaurant, he apparently returned home and put on pants before running off again, police added.
Officials identified the four people who were killed in the shooting as Taurean Sanderlin, 29; Joe Perez, 20; Akilah Dasilva, 23; and Deebony Groves, 21.
Two other people — Shanita Waggoner, 21, and Sharita Henderson, 24 — were being treated for gunshot wounds at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, officials added.
A man who was dining at the restaurant said he spotted an opportunity to confront the shooter and pull away his gun.
“I figured if I was going to die, [the gunman] was going to have to work for it,” James Shaw Jr. said of the incident at the news conference. He had entered the restaurant just two minutes ahead of the gunman.
“He shot through that door; I’m pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind … that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door,” Shaw said.
Shaw said he managed to get one hand on the gun and grab it, then threw it over a countertop and took the shooter with him outside before the suspect ran away — a situation Shaw said “worked out in my favor.”
Even though Shaw said he acted against the gunman “completely out of a selfish act,” officials called him a hero, and said the 29-year-old saved “many lives in his heroic actions.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added Reinking to its “Top 10 Most Wanted” list on Sunday and is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest. The bureau said he’s 6’4″ and weighs 180 pounds.
Fox News’ Kevin Kirby and The Associated Press contributed to this report.