Photos show the aftermath of the Waffle House shooting as the murder trial for Travis Reinking starts.
In 2018, a man opened fire at a Waffle House in Tennessee, killing two people. The trial for that man started Monday morning.
Travis Reinking has been charged with 16 crimes, including four murder charges. Authorities say he shot at least 30 rounds of ammunition at a Waffle House in Antioch, California, in April 2018. He killed Akilah DaSilva, De’Ebony Groves, Taurean Sanderlin, and Joe Perez, and injured many more.
Police say a quick-thinking customer at a restaurant took the assault-style rifle away from Reinking, likely saving more lives. The tragedy shocked the people in Nashville.
During a hearing on Monday, the courtroom saw what happened after the shooting. It looks like Reinking used a weapon that police say he used to do this.
Brett Johns, the first Metro Police officer on the scene of the shooting, took the stand first. He said he was sent to the wrong Waffle House and had a hard time finding it because it was new to the area.
Detective Johns had been to a lot of shootings before, but he said that the Waffle House shooting was “definitely more gruesome and deadly” than the other shootings he had been to.
“I think about their injuries, the people I dealt with inside, and the conversations I had a lot.” Johns said while he was holding back his tears.
It was Officer John Gilpin’s turn on the stand. He said he helped Johns apply tourniquets to different survivors and tried to quickly make a quick triage of injuries and deaths to help set up EMS. Reinking’s scent was found by Officer Gilpin and K9 Braxx as soon as EMS arrived at the scene. Reinking was described as a white male with orange-red hair, completely naked, who had been wearing nothing but a green jacket before.
In the next 34 hours, Reinking would try to run away from police, but he was caught in a wooded area.
It was in February 2019 that Reinking said he was not guilty because he was crazy. Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk’s office wants a sentence of life in prison without the chance of parole.
Jurors were told in opening statements by the prosecutors that Reinking made decisions that led to him being shot.
That’s what will be shown to you in this case and in the evidence you will see. Travis Reinking made a decision.” He made a lot of decisions that led to him being shot. He chose when to go. He went to a Waffle House at 3:20 a.m. on a Saturday night when it would be the busiest. He didn’t want to wear anything else but a green jacket. This is what he did. Choose which of his four guns to take with it. The one that had the most magazines was the one I chose. It was up to him. He took 90 rounds of ammunition. He parked in that spot so he could see everything.
“He chose not to stop.” During this trial, you’ll hear that Travis Reinking went there to get something that couldn’t be given back. He went to kill people. The evidence will show that this was an act of revenge that was done because of anger.
The defense said they don’t plan to fight what happened at the Waffle House. They called it a tragedy and said they won’t fight it.
For four years, Reinking’s mental health has caused the case to be put on hold because of that. A judge said that he was fit to stand trial.
Reinking’s lawyers say he is mentally ill and has had a lot of false memories. Swift was a government agent who was going to kill him and that he was “commanded by God” to go to a Waffle House the night of the shooting.
That’s what he thought. That Waffle House was run by the government, and he thought the people there were agents. When you’re making a decision, you have to think about how that person sees you, the defense told the jury. “We believe that when you do that and when this case is over, you will be able to say for sure that Mr. Reinking has a severe mental illness and that he was insane when he shot these people.”