At least four dead in Waffle House shooting massacre, gunman on the loose

A manhunt is underway after a gunman shot and killed four people and wounded four others at a Waffle House outside of Nashville early Sunday morning, the Tennessean reports.

The suspect is believed to have started shooting just before 3:30 a.m. at the restaurant in Antioch, Tennessee before a customer fought with him and took the gun away, Metro Nashville Police said.

The perpetrator ran away on foot and was reportedly naked after he removed his coat.

The vehicle the gunman used is registered to 29-year-old Travis Reinking, who investigators say is a person of interest.

Law enforcement at both the local and federal levels were aware of him “due to previous interactions,” said Don Aaron, a police spokesman.

FBI agents were observed at the scene of the shooting on Sunday, according to the newspaper.

Someone who may have been Reinking was last spotted near a patch of woods by the Waffle House. He reportedly was not wearing a shirt but did have black pants on.

Authorities are urging residents in the area to lock their doors, although the suspect may no longer be armed.

Three of the victims were rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. One of them died there, one is in critical condition and the other is in critical but stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The Tennessean interviewed a witness who had just stopped by the restaurant for a cup of coffee when he saw the gunman exit his vehicle and start shooting.

Chuck Cordero said he saw the gunman fire through the building’s glass and at a male who was standing by the door.

“He did not say anything. He pulled up, got out of his car and was all business,” Cordero told the newspaper.

The incident occurred near a church where a mass shooting in September killed one person and injured nine others.

Mayor David Briley called Sunday’s act of violence a tragedy for the entire city.

“My heart goes out to the families and friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting,” Briley said. “I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.”

Waffle House officials were at the restaurant on Sunday. A company spokesperson asked for support as victims and their families cope with the devastation.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident,” the spokesperson said. “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family, and we ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”

To report information about the shooting, including the whereabouts of Reinking, call police at 615-862-8600.


[Feature image: Travis Reinking/Metro Nashville Police]