The suspect in Sunday’s killings at a Tennessee Waffle House once lived in Colorado, where police say a co-worker described him as being paranoid and delusional at times. The co-worker also told a detective the man was infatuated with Taylor Swift and claimed to be a sovereign citizen.
Travis Reinking lived in Salida, Colorado, for several months in 2016 and 2017 and worked at a company called Rocky Mountain Crane, Detective Sgt. Rob Martellaro of the Salida Police Department said in a report Monday.
One of Reinking’s former co-workers told Martellaro that Reinking had identified himself as an anti-government “sovereign citizen” who also disliked the National Rifle Association. The FBI says sovereign citizens believe they are separate from the U.S. and don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts and law enforcement.
Martellaro said the former co-worker left him with the impression that Reinking’s interest in the sovereign citizen movement was part of his “delusional makeup.”
Meanwhile, the man who snatched an AR-15 rifle away from the gunman at the restaurant told Tennessee lawmakers Tuesday he faced “the true test of a man,” drawing a standing ovation during his brief address.
As the House hailed him as a hero with a resolution, James Shaw Jr. said he acted early Sunday at a Nashville Waffle House to save his own life, and saved others in the process.
“I never thought I’d be in a room with all the eyes on me, but you know, I’m very grateful to be here,” Shaw told House members.
The 29-year-old said he has since gone to see some of the shooting victims in the hospital and they all remembered him. He apologized to the people whose loved ones died in the attack.
The Senate also honored Shaw on Tuesday.
Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said Tuesday that Reinking has been “compliant” and “cooperative” since he was transferred to the jail late Monday after he was captured near the apartment where he lived. Reinking is wearing a vest known informally as a “suicide smock” and will remain under close observation at a maximum-security facility in Nashville.
Also on Tuesday, a Nashville judge revoked the bond of the shooting suspect.
Court records show that a judge struck Reinking’s $2 million bond until a hearing can be held Wednesday. The records did not give a reason why General Sessions Judge Michael Mondelli revoked the bond.
An attorney listed as Reinking’s lawyer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Reinking, 29, is charged with four counts of criminal homicide. Police say he opened fire outside the restaurant with an AR-15 rifle and then stormed the restaurant, wearing only a green jacket. Four other people were wounded in the shooting.
Reinking escaped on foot from the restaurant and shed his only item of clothing. By the time he was captured in the woods nearby, police had searched his apartment, and found the key fob to a stolen BMW they had recovered in the parking lot days earlier. The BMW theft had not initially been tied to Reinking.
Nashville Police Department Lt. Carlos Lara told reporters Reinking was arrested Monday after detectives were tipped to the suspect’s presence by some construction workers. He carried a black backpack with a silver semi-automatic weapon and .45-caliber ammunition.
The arrest ended a 24-hour manhunt involving more than 160 law enforcement officers, but it left troubling unanswered questions about official responses to months of bizarre behavior before the restaurant attack, including encounters with police in Illinois and Colorado and an arrest at the White House that raised red flags.
The suspect told Washington, D.C., police he was a sovereign citizen and had a right to inspect the grounds, according to an incident report.
Reinking was not armed at the time, but at the FBI’s request, Illinois police revoked his state firearms card. Four guns, including the AR-15 used in the shootings, were transferred to his father, a procedure allowed under Illinois law.
Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston said Jeffrey Reinking pledged he would “keep the weapons secure and out of the possession of Travis.” Don Aaron, a Nashville Police spokesman, said Reinking’s father “has now acknowledged giving them back” to his son.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special Agent Marcus Watson said Monday that his father’s action is “potentially a violation of federal law.”
Phone calls to a number listed for the father went unanswered.
Associated Press writers John Raby in Charleston, West Virginia; Ed White in Detroit; Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kathleen Foody in Denver, Colorado; and Justin Pritchard in Los Angeles contributed to this report.