After a manhunt that swept across Nashville, police in the Tennessee capital on Monday arrested Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old accused of killing four people in a shooting rampage at a Waffle House over the weekend.
The announcement came nearly 34 hours after the eruption of violence in the Waffle House. A little more than an hour before taking him into custody, police had acknowledged having “no confirmed sightings” of him and saying they were not even sure if he remained in the area, reports the Washington Post.
That changed suddenly when police received a tip that someone matching Reinking’s description was seen heading into a wooded area about a mile from the Waffle House. Detectives marched into the wooden area and found Reinking, who was taken into custody without any incident, they said. When he was captured, police said Reinking was wearing a backpack that held a semiautomatic firearm as well as ammunition.
Authorities say Reinking, wearing nothing but a green jacket, opened fire at the Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, a neighborhood southeast of downtown Nashville, just before 3:30 a.m. Sunday. He got out and immediately began shooting at customers in the parking lot, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
The man kept shooting as he walked inside, shattering the restaurant’s glass windows. At one point, he stopped, presumably to reload. That’s when police say a customer, James Shaw Jr., lunged at the gunman, wrestled the weapon away from him and tossed it over the counter.
Even with the suspected shooter alive and in police custody, what could have motivated the massacre remained frustratingly unknown, authorities said.