Waffle House Shooting
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Waffle House Shooting was a mass shooting that occurred at a Waffle House restaurant in Antioch, Tennessee. A total of four people were killed and another four were injured. The suspected gunman was identified as 29-year-old Travis Reinking and was stopped by James Shaw Jr., a Waffle House patron, who tackled Reinking and wrestled the weapon away from him. Reinking fled on foot. He was arrested the following day.
At approximately 3:23 a.m. on April 22nd, 2018, a gunman arrived in a truck at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee wearing nothing but a green jacket and wielding an assault-style rifle. He shot and killed two people in the parking lot of the restaurant and entered the restaurant killing two more. When the suspect stopped to tend to his weapon, restaurant patron James Shaw Jr. wrestled the gun away from the shooter. The suspect fled the scene on foot.
Shortly after the shooting, the four victims were identified as Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, Joe R. Perez, 20, Akilah Dasilva, 23, and DeEbony Groves, 21.
That day, Twitter user @KristenClarkeJD tweeted a picture of the four victims with the caption "All 4 victims of today’s heinous Waffle House attack were young people of color with their whole lives ahead of them. Law enforcement must view today’s tragedy as a racially motivated hate crime and an act of domestic terrorism. Hate crimes are on the rise. #TravisReinking." The post (shown below) received more than 19,000 retweets and 33,000 likes in 24 hours.
Hours after the shooting, the Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted a photograph of Travis Reinking and named him as person of interest. They tweeted,  "BREAKING: Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, IL, is person of interest in Waffle House shooting. Vehicle the gunman arrived in is registered to him. Gunman last seen walking south on Murfreesboro Pike. He shed is coat and is nude. See Reinking? Pls call 615-862-8600 immediately." The post (shown below, left) received more than 5,900 retweets and 3,100 likes in less than 48 hours.
Later that day, the police department tweeted an image of the weapon used in the shooting. They wrote, "Investigation on going at the Waffle House. Scene being processed by MNPD experts. This is the rifle used by the gunman." The post (shown below, right) received more than 1,200 retweets and 1,700 likes in 24 hours.
In 2017, Reinking was arrested by the United States Secret Service for trespassing on the White House grounds. At the time, Reinking told the Secret Service officials that he needs to speak to the U.S. President Donald Trump.
After finishing community service for the trespassing charge, officials seized Reinking's weapons, including the AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting. The weapons were returned to his father, Jeffrey Reinking, who returned them to his son.
On April 23rd, Reinking was apprehended by Nashville police. That day, they tweeted a photo of the suspect with the caption, "BREAKING: Travis Reinking apprehended moments ago in a wooded area near Old Hickory Blvd & Hobson Pk." The post (shown below) received more than 2,300 retweets and 2,500 likes in 24 hours.
James Shaw Jr.
Police identified Waffle House customer James Shaw Jr. as the person who stopped the shooting. Metro Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said, "He saw the gunman looking at his rifle. At that point, the shots had stopped. So he decided to rush the gunman, actually wrestled that assault rifle away, tossed it over the counter. At that point, the gunman then fled."
Shaw spoke to NC5 about his experience in the shooting. Reporter Chris Conte posted the internet on Twitter with the caption, "This is James Shaw. He's a hero. His hands are burned from grabbing the barrel of a gun used to kill four people at a Nashville Waffle House. He says he's sorry he couldn't save more people." The post (shown below) received more than 76,000 retweets and 200,000 likes in 24 hours.
This is James Shaw. He's a hero. His hands are burned from grabbing the barrel of a gun used to kill four people at a Nashville Waffle House. He says he's sorry he couldn't save more people. pic.twitter.com/QXIevQLfM1— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) April 22, 2018
Later that day, Conte tweeted a photograph of Shaw with the caption "This is James Shaw. He's a hero. His hands are burned severely from grabbing the assault rifle used to kill four people inside a Nashville Waffle House. He likely saved dozens of lives." The post (shown below) received more than 9,500 retweets and 36,000 likes in 24 hours.
That day, people online declared Shaw a hero. Dr. Eugene Gu, a columnist for the Hill, tweeted a picture of Shaw in the hospital with the caption, "This is the Waffle House hero, James Shaw Jr. He tackled the shooter and saved so many lives in the process. Thank you James. And thank you TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center for your wonderful doctors and nurses who quickly took care of his injuries." The post (shown below, center) received more than 15,000 retweets and 53,000 likes in 24 hours.
Twitter user @henshaw tweeted, "James Shaw Jr. was identified as the hero who helped stop the Waffle House shooter this morning. He says he doesn’t feel like a hero, which is exactly what you’d expect a real hero to say." The post (shown below, right) received more than 5,500 retweets and 19,000 likes in 24 hours.
On April 22nd, Nashville Mayor David Briley called for stricter gun control. He said, "We need comprehensive gun reform to address mass shootings, domestic shootings, accidental shootings and homicides. If we can all just come together for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country."
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam said, "Crissy and I are deeply saddened by the tragic incident in Antioch early this morning, and we mourn the lives taken in this senseless act of violence. I encourage everyone in the Antioch area to take safety precautions as Metro Police continue to search for the suspect."
Criticism of President Donald Trump
Within 24 hours of the shooting, United States President Donald Trump had not commented on the incident. Online, people accused Trump of bias towards the victims and shooter, stating that because the shooter was affiliated with the rightwing extremist movement "Sovereign Citizen." Twitter user EdKrassen tweeted, "BOOM! Nashville Waffle House shooter, Travis Reinking was part of a rightwing extremist movement, "Sovereign Citizen". It appears to be no coincidence that targeted people of color & I'm not going out on a limb here saying that Trump won't be condemning this attack anytime soon." The post (shown below) received more than 5,100 retweets and 11,000 likes in 24 hours.
News of the shooting reached the front page of several subreddits, including /r/news, where it received more than 28,000 points (87% upvoted ) and 8,700 comments in 24 hours.
Over the next day, reports and discussion of the shooting also appeared on /r/UplifitingNews (8,400 points/96% upvoted), /r/politics (3,800 points/95% upvoted), /r/The_Donald (2,100 points/97% upvoted) and more.
Twitter published several moments on the shooting.
Virtually every major news outlet covered the shooting, including The New York Times, BBC, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and more.
 Twitter – @MNPDNashville's Tweet
 Twitter – @MNPDNashville's Tweet
 CNN – Waffle House shooter was once arrested by Secret Service for trespassing near White House
 CNN – The manhunt for the Waffle House shooting suspect
 CNN – Manhunt intensifies for Waffle House killer
 Twitter – @eugenegu's Tweet
 Twitter – @chrisconte's Tweet
 Twitter – @henshaw's Tweet
 Reddit – 1 dead, 6 others hurt in Waffle House shooting
 Reddit – A 29-year-old man saved numerous lives during Tennessee Waffle House shooting, police say
 Reddit – Nashville mayor demands stricter gun control after Waffle House shooting
 Reddit – BREAKING: Waffle House shooting leaves 4 dead, several injured; gunman sought
 USA Today – Waffle House shooting: 'Take these weapons of war off the streets,' Nashville Mayor Briley says
 Tennessean – Waffle House shooting: Condolences, anger from local leaders in response to attack
 Twitter – Four dead in Tennessee Waffle House shooting
 Twitter – Meet the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter
 The New York Times – Waffle House Shooting: Nashville on Edge as Suspect Remains at Large
 BBC – Nashville Waffle House: James Shaw denies heroism
 The Washington Post – Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking arrested, police say
 Chicago Tribune – Suspect in Tennessee Waffle House shooting had guns seized after arrest near White House last year
 Twitter – @MNPDNashville's Tweet
 Twitter – @KristenClarkeJD's Tweet
 Twitter – @EdKrassen's Tweet
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