Alleged Waffle House Shooter Has A History Of Problems With Police And Had Firearms Permit Revoked

The shooter's father gave the AR-15 back to his son against police orders, which was later used in the Waffle House shooting.

Waffle house shooter has history of run ins with police.
Mark Humphrey / AP Images

The shooter's father gave the AR-15 back to his son against police orders, which was later used in the Waffle House shooting.

Travis Reinking, the man who allegedly fatally shot four people at a Tennessee Waffle House, has a history of run-ins with authorities. In one bizarre incident in July, 2017, Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service for trespassing at the White House. Separately, an Illinois sheriff said that Reinking’s firearms permit was revoked last year, according to the Washington Post.

When asked why he was trespassing at the White House, Reinking said he “wanted to set up a meeting with the president.” He walked into a restricted area, and was arrested when he refused to leave. The FBI further questioned Reinking in Illinois. It was also in 2017 that Reinking moved to Nashville from his home state of Illinois.

Additionally, it has come to light that Reinking’s firearms permit was revoked by state police last August. But instead of confiscating the man’s firearms, police gave them to his father with the understanding that he would keep them out of his son’s reach. At this time, authorities know that the AR-15 Reinking used at the Waffle House was one of the firearms given to his father. Unfortunately, the father gave the gun back to his son for unknown reasons, detailed AL. When asked why the firearms weren’t confiscated, police said that the officers “didn’t believe they had any authority to seize the weapon.” Lawmakers who support gun control may use this instance to push even stricter gun laws.

Besides his run-ins with the law, Reinking exhibited delusional behavior that was known to his family, according to the New York Times. Police reports detailed some of his delusions, like believing that Taylor Swift was stalking him. Not only that, he thought that Swift was hacking into his phone and Netflix account. It’s unknown why Reinking moved to Nashville, especially if his family was aware of his mental health problems. There’s also no mention of what, if any, mental health conditions Reinking has been diagnosed with.

Reinking reportedly had two AR-15 magazines in the green jacket he left at the scene when he fled. Many believe that if it weren’t for 29-year-old James Shaw, Jr., who intervened, that there could have been more casualties. Reinking is still at large at the time of this writing.