Accused Waffle House shooter calls TV station, says he plans to defend himself


In this Monday, April 23, 2018 photo, Travis Reinking, suspected of killing four people in a late-night shooting at a Waffle House restaurant, is escorted into the Hill Detention Center in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, April 23, 2018. (Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean via AP)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The man accused of killing four people inside a Tennessee Waffle House has finally broken his silence.

On Thursday, Travis Reinking called WTVF’s Nick Beres from a maximum security facility wishing to speak about the mass shooting that killed DeEbony Groves, Akilah DaSilva, Taurean C. Sanderlin and Joe Perez.  One of the things they discussed – his mental health.

When asked about his state of mind, Reinking was recorded as saying “Yeah, no….I’m perfectly healthy.”

Despite admitting not knowing how it all works, he also told the WTVF employee he would plan his own legal defense since he doesn’t like the attorneys the court appointed to him.

The one thing he didn’t want to talk about over the phone was the mass shooting itself.

“I’d rather not in the setting I’m at right now,” he said.

Reinking is currently undergoing a mental evaluation.  He was charged with four counts of criminal homicide, four counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful gun possession in the commission of a violent felony. He could also be facing additional charges after speaking publicly about the case and ignoring a gag order.

Both sides are scheduled to return to court in June. At that time attorneys could set dates for a future hearing, possibly Reinking’s preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing would reveal a lot of details about the case that investigators have kept quiet.

Reinking is being held in jail without bond, meaning he can’t pay his way out.

A note from Nick Beres from the WTVF website:

As I’ve said all along I am very careful about the stories I chose to do on accused mass killers. The victims are the ones to be remembered. They are always part of my stories. We will continue to update their progress along with the status of hero James Shaw Jr. But I was afforded the rare opportunity to press the suspect with questions and to get him on the record. What he says is certainly part of the story and could even become part of the criminal case.  


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