(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)
Four people were killed and two others wounded in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee early Sunday.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that the gunman opened fire at 3:25 a.m. A heroic 29-year-old patron at the diner was able to stop the gunman and wrestle the gun away from him. However, the shooter – believed to be Travis Reinking, 29, of Illinois – escaped before police arrived.
Authorities say the gunman was nude as he fled the scene. Authorities were still searching for him through late morning Sunday, though murder warrants are now being drafted against Reinking, the police said via Twitter.
Police posted a photo of what appears to be an AR-15-style assault rifle that the gunman used.
Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said in a local TV interview, “If you see a nude guy walking around, call the police immediately. We believe he may be the suspect in this,” according to USA Today.
A gunman shot six people, four fatally, when he opened fire in a Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville.
A restaurant patron, whom police said is a 29-year-old man, stepped in and disarmed the gunman.
“No doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and tossing it over the counter and prompting the man to leave,” Nashville police spokesman Aaron told the Associated Press.
The gunman was wearing only a green coat when he opened fire. During the struggle over the gun, the shooter left his coat and fled the scene naked, police said.
The investigation is still on-going and the crime scene is being processed, Nashville police said.
Who is the gunman?
Police have named 29-year-old Travis Reinking, originally of Morton, Illinois, as a person of interest in the shooting after identifying his truck in the parking lot of the Waffle House.
Reinking is described as a white man with short hair. Law enforcement in Illinois and federal authorities were aware of Reinking prior to the shooting, police told Nashville’s News Channel 5.
Police also tweeted that Reinking shed his clothes and is either naked or wearing pants but no shirt, and is still at large, and Reinking “was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apartments on Mountain Springs Drive near the Waffle House.” Channel 5 also reported that “police dogs have been tracking him.”
Anyone with information about Reinking is urged to call the Nashville Police Department at (615) 862-8600.
What was the motive for the shooting?
Police are still trying to determine why the gunman opened fire, but at this time, they believe the shooting was random. They also do not know why the alleged suspect, Reinking, came to Nashville from his hometown in Morton, Illinois, 450 miles away, but according to The Tennessean, police believe he lives at the Mountain View Apartments near the Waffle House where the shooting took place. ”
Who are the victims?
The names of the victims have not yet been released.
A total of six people were shot. Three died at the scene and a fourth victim died at the hospital.
Two others were wounded and are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
What is the reaction to the shooting?
Waffle House, a 24/7 diner chain that is popular throughout the South, issued a statement after the shooting saying, “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”
Nasvhille’s Mayor David Briley also issued a statement, saying: “It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families and friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.”