(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — The suspected gunman in the Waffle House shooting near Nashville, Tennessee, that left four dead was captured Monday afternoon, authorities said.
Travis Reinking was taken into custody about 2 p.m., about two hours after police officials said they had received no credible sightings of the suspect since Sunday morning. Police caught him in the wooded area behind where he lives, they said.
More than 160 law enforcement officers — including SWAT teams, K-9 units and helicopter crews — had fanned out across the Nashville suburb of Antioch in search of Reinking, who police suspected was armed and dangerous.
Police helicopter crews had focused their search from the sky on a wooded area in which Reinking was last seen about 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Officers on the ground had searched a wooded on foot with K-9 units.
Prior to Reinking’s capture, there had been no credible sightings of Reinking since a resident saw him about 8:30 a.m. Sunday entering the woods shirtless near an apartment complex where he lived, Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said.
“We have a man who has exhibited significant instability,” Aaron said.
Reinking, 29, is suspected to have stolen a BMW Tuesday from a local dealership, Arron said. The suspect went to the dealership in Brentwood in neighboring Williamson County and stole the BMW after he refused a request from a salesman to show his identification, he added.
Reinking had somehow obtained a fob for the BMW, got in it and drove away, Aaron said, adding that Brentwood Police spotted the stolen car and gave chase but called off the pursuit when it became too dangerous.
The stolen car, which was equipped with GPS, was located at the apartment complex where Reinking lives.
Aaron said the fob used in the auto theft was found in Reinking’s apartment when police searched it Sunday.
“We don’t know what his plan was. What his intention for taking the BMW car remains to be seen,” Aaron said.
He also said that several hours after the Waffle House massacre Sunday, a laptop case containing a card with Reinking’s name written on it was found at a truck stop at Interstate 24 and Old Hickory Boulevard, about 20 miles from area Reinking was last spotted.
It’s unclear whether Reinking managed to get that far after the shooting or whether the laptop case was left there before the shooting, Aaron said.
Police suspect that Reingold went to the Waffle House in Antioch about 3:19 a.m. Sunday, waited in his gold-colored Chevrolet Silverado pickup for up to four minutes before allegedly commencing with his deadly rampage.
The gunman killed two men outside the restaurant before firing through the window, entering the crowded establishment and killing two others. At least four people were injured, including two left in critical condition.
Police believe the suspect showed up at the restaurant wearing only a green jacket and nothing on underneath.
He fled the business after patron James Shaw Jr., 29, confronted him and took his gun during a tussle, threw it over a counter and forced the gunman outside.
Reinking fled the restaurant on foot and, police said, he ran to his apartment at the nearby Discovery at Mountain View apartment complex, where he put on a pair of dark pants.
Aaron said Reinking may have also retrieved a handgun from his apartment, where police seized two hunting rifles.
Area schools were searched and cleared in time for classes this morning, but the schools were placed on lockout before the capture, meaning no visitors were allowed on campuses. All after-school activities had been canceled out of an abundance of caution.
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