23 April 2018Hot off the Press
Image credit: Metro Nashville Police Department
UPDATE: Police have said the 29-year-old suspect has been arrested not for from his apartment. It has been suggested he may have mental health issues and according to police, once told authorities popstar Taylor Swift was stalking him and hacking his phone.
A gunman has killed at least four people at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee.
The shooter fled the scene after a patron of the restaurant wrestled the semi-automatic rifle from his hands.
The 29-year-old suspect, Travis Reinking, who was near-naked, shot two people at 3:30am in the Waffle House parking lot. The suspect then proceeded to enter the restaurant and opened fire, where he killed one patron and injured another, who later died.
One diner, James Shaw Jr, fought to pry the gun away from the suspect, saying that if the gunman were to kill him, he would “have to work to kill me.”
Mr Shaw Jr said he was seated at a high counter when he heard gunshots. When he turned around, Mr Shaw saw a body laying by the entrance door of the restaurant.
“He shot through that door; I’m pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind … that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.”
Mr Shaw then wrestled with the gunman, ignoring his own pain and grabbing the hot barrel of the gun.
“He was kind of cussing while we were wrestling around. When I finally got the gun he was cussing like I was in the wrong … it wasn’t any kind of talking between us; I just knew I just had to get that away from him.”
Mr Shaw managed to get the gun away from the shooter, “I grabbed it from him and threw it over the countertop and I just took him with me out the entrance.”
After Mr Shaw exited the restaurant, the suspect began to run away from the scene.
Mr Shaw escaped the incident with non-life-threatening injuries.
People have commended Mr Shaw’s actions, calling him a hero who was able to prevent further tragic fatalities.
However Mr Shaw doesn’t see it that way, saying he was certain he would have died if he didn’t succeed and that he jumped into action in order to get himself out of the situation.
Law enforcement called him a hero anyway at a press conference, where a spokesman said that “no doubt he saved many lives.”