On Sunday, a man dressed only in a jacket entered a Waffle House restaurant and opened fire on patrons and staff, killing four and injuring two. The attack came to an end when James Shaw Jr., a customer, ambushed the gunman, wrestling away the shooter’s firearm and tossing it over a counter. Now, new details have come to light.
According to a report by CNN, Travis Reinking, the 29-year-old alleged shooter, used an AR-15 that was previously seized by local authorities as part of a separate incident. Reinking’s father returned the seized weapon to his son.
In July 2017, Reinking had his firearms seized after an incident at the White House. He breached the security barrier and told members of the US Secret Service that he wanted to speak with President Donald Trump.
After being arrested, the Secret Service and FBI coordinated with local law enforcement, resulting in an investigation and Reinking’s weapons being removed from his possession.
According to an incident report, four weapons were seized along with ammunition and his state firearm owner’s identification in August.
The seized weapons were given to Reinking’s father, who stated that he would keep them out of his son’s hands.
Investigators now believe that Reinking’s father returned the firearms to his son as one of the four seized weapons was a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle which was also found at the scene at the Waffle House.
Speaking about the seizure, Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston stated, “The officers did not believe they had any legal authority to withhold the weapons.”
“We need to be on solid legal ground in order to seize someone’s property.”
After the shooting at the Waffle House, a search of Reinking’s apartment led to the recovery of another firearm.
Local law enforcement believes that Reinking was potentially armed as he fled from the Waffle House as the whereabouts of the other two weapons is not known.
However, on Monday, Reinking was taken into custody. He was found behind an apartment complex.
The Waffle House shooting suspect was arrested behind the apartment complex where he was last seen, CNN’s Nick Valencia reports. https://t.co/1sy845br66
— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) April 23, 2018