Sunday 21 October 2018

Four killed in Nashville Waffle House gun rampage

Travis Reinking has been named as a suspect while a customer is said to have wrestled the firearm from the attacker.

Bullet holes are seen at a Waffle House after the fatal shooting (George Walker IV/AP)
Bullet holes are seen at a Waffle House after the fatal shooting (George Walker IV/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A gunman wearing nothing but a coat stormed a Waffle House restaurant before dawn on Sunday and killed four people, according to police in the US.

Officers in Tennessee have credited a customer with saving lives by wresting a weapon away from the gunman.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said via its Twitter account that authorities are searching for 29-year-old Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois.

Police said he was named as a person of interest because the pick-up vehicle the gunman used to drive to the restaurant was registered to Reinking.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said three people died at the scene and one person died at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre.

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This photo provided by the Metro Nashville Police Department photo shows the rifle used in the deadly shooting (Police/AP)

Two other people were being treated there for gunshot wounds.

Medical Centre spokeswoman Jennifer Wetzel said one was in critical condition and the other was in critical but stable condition.

Mr Aaron said the gunman arrived at the restaurant, sat in the car park for four minutes and shot two people with an assault rifle.

The gunman then went inside and continued firing.

A 29-year-old male patron inside the restaurant grabbed the rifle from the suspect and tossed it over a counter, Mr Aaron said.

“No doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and tossing it over the counter and prompting the man to leave,” Mr Aaron said.

He called the patron a “hero”.

Mr Aaron said Reinking was known to police both in Illinois and in the federal system.

The suspect, wearing only a green jacket, shed the jacket after fleeing the restaurant.

Mr Aaron said he lived at an apartment complex in the area and, based on witness reports, went to the complex and put on a pair of trousers.

Mr Aaron said witnesses saw a man in a nearby wooded area, and police were still tracking the man, more than six hours after the shooting.

Nashville mayor David Briley said the shooting represents “a tragic day” for the city.

“My heart goes out to the families & friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime,” Mr Briley said on Twitter.

Press Association

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