The Nashville police on Monday, 24 April arrested the suspect in the weekend killing of four people at a Waffle House restaurant, ending a manhunt that began when the gunman ran naked from the scene into nearby woods, authorities said.
The arrest ended a protracted search for the gunman identified as Travis Reinking, a 29-year old construction worker and a man with a history of bizarre behaviour who evaded capture for more than 30 hours after the shooting.
Metropolitan Nashville police lieutenant Carlos Lara said that as soon as a detective saw Reinking and ordered him to get on the ground, the suspect cooperated. "He did not try to run," Lara told reporters in a news conference near the Waffle House.
The nearly nude gunman killed at least four people and injured two at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville, Tennessee, US, early on Sunday, 22 April and then fled after a patron saved lives by wrestling the assault-style rifle from his hands.
Reinking, of Morton, Illinois, was believed to live near the restaurant. The gunman's vehicle was registered to him and a shirtless man wearing pants, believed to be Reinking, was spotted in the woods nearby, the police had said.
The gunman, who was naked but for a green jacket, first shot and killed two people in the parking lot of the restaurant in Antioch, a section of southeast Nashville, shortly before 3:30 am.
He then entered the restaurant and opened fire, police said, killing one patron and wounding another, who later died.
One diner, named by local media as James Shaw Jr, 29, who had hidden near the restrooms, dashed out and pulled the rifle from the gunman.
"The shots had stopped so he (Shaw) decided to rush towards the gunman, actually wrestled that assault rifle away, tossed it over the counter and, at that point, the gunman fled." - Police spokesman Don Aaron
Shaw's fast actions were credited with saving lives, but in an interview with the Tennessee newspaper he dismissed the idea that he was hero.
"It feels selfish," said Shaw, who added that he had been getting a snack with friends after a fraternity house party. "I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it," he added.
Shaw suffered non-life-threatening wounds including an injured elbow, while other patrons suffered facial wounds from shattered glass. He said he did not pursue the fleeing gunman for fear he had another weapon.
As the shooter ran off, he discarded the jacket which contained additional ammunition, according to the police.
Arrested Last Year Near White House
Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service last year for being in a restricted area near the White House.
Officials said Reinking had gone there hoping to meet with US President Donald Trump.
Police said Reinking moved to Nashville last autumn and had been working in construction, but was fired from one job three weeks ago and left another last week after just one day.
The Antioch neighbourhood was the scene of a mass shooting last September. A 25-year-old gunman wearing a mask killed a woman outside the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and then shot and wounded six worshipers inside during a Sunday service. He later shot and wounded himself in a scuffle with an usher.
Calls to end gun violence and toughen restrictions on firearms sales in the United States have increased since the 14 February massacre of 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, sparking a youth-led activist movement.
Nashville Mayor David Briley said tragedies like the one on Sunday should not happen.
Tragedies like today should not happen. This is our second mass shooting in 7 months. We need comprehensive gun reform. If we all come together on this for the greater good, we can take weapons of war off the street.— Mayor David Briley (@MayorBriley) April 22, 2018
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