Crime

Family sues Illinois father, who said he gave son guns back before Waffle House shooting

At least four dead after shooting at Tennessee Waffle House

Nashville, Tennessee police said at least four are dead after suspect Travis Reinking, of Morton, Illinois, opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant. A customer at the restaurant was able to take the gun from the shooter who then fled the scene.
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Nashville, Tennessee police said at least four are dead after suspect Travis Reinking, of Morton, Illinois, opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant. A customer at the restaurant was able to take the gun from the shooter who then fled the scene.

A second lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking and his father, who lives in central Illinois.

The family of one of four people killed in an April shooting at a Nashville Waffle House filed the suit against Travis Reinking and his father, Jeffrey Reinking, according to the Tennessean.

The Reinkings are from Morton, a small town near Peoria in Tazewell County and Jeffrey Reinking is a long-time resident.

Akilah DaSilva, 23, was one of four people killed on April 22 when police say Travis Reinking used an AR-15-style rifle to kill four people in the restaurant. DaSilva’s mother, Shaundelle Brooks, filed the wrongful-death suit in Tennessee on behalf of her son.

The suit claims Reinking’s father is responsible for his son’s alleged actions primarily because he gave his son the guns that were used in the shooting, the Tennessean reported.

According to police records, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department seized the guns from Travis Reinking and gave them to his father for safe keeping.

Jeffrey Reinking, however, gave them back.

“As a consequence of Jeffrey Reinking’s gross negligence and grotesque recklessness, Mr. DaSilva was brutally and senselessly murdered,” the lawsuit stated, according to the Tennessean.

In May, the family of Joe Perez filed a lawsuit in Tazewell County against Jeffrey Reinking and his son, the Tennessean reported. The Perez lawsuit also claimed Jeffrey Reinking’s decision to return the revoked guns to his son made him partially responsible for the attack.

“When (Jeffrey Reinking) was asked by the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office to take possession of Travis Reinking’s firearms, including the Bushmaster AR-15, and agreed not to allow Travis Reinking to have access to those weapons, he gratuitously assumed a duty to the community of those who came or were to come in the vicinity of Travis Reinking, including Joe R. Perez, Jr. and the other guests or workers at the Waffle House, to secure those weapons so that Travis Reinking did not have access to them,” the lawsuit states.

Travis Reinking
Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Illinois. Provided

Travis Reinking had multiple encounters with Illinois law enforcement that indicated mental disturbance, according to police reports.

The Tazewell Sheriff’s Department provided five documented reports of Reinking’s erratic and criminal behavior, including once when Reinking told a deputy he was “being watched and people were baiting him into breaking the law.”

On August 24, 2017, the sheriff’s department revoked Reinking’s FOID card.

They released his four guns and ammo to Reinking’s father and “advised him to keep the weapons secure and away from Travis.”

According to a police report at the time, Jeffrey Reinking told police he would keep the guns away from his son.

After the shooting, police recovered three of the four guns originally taken from Reinking and given to his father, according to Nashville Police.

Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said that Reinking’s father “acknowledged giving them back” to his son, according to WANDTV.

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6
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