Waffle House suspect denies mental health issues
Nashville, Tenn. – A man accused of killing four people at a Tennessee Waffle House denies that he is suffering from mental health problems and says he wants to represent himself in court in the murder cases.
WTVF on Thursday played an audio recording of Travis Reinking talking to one of the station’s reporters, where the suspect can be heard saying “I’m perfectly healthy” when asked about his mental fitness. Reinking called the reporter from the Nashville jail, where he is being held without bond.
The suspect refused to discuss any details of the April 22 shooting at the Waffle House in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville when he was asked about it by the reporter.
“I’d rather not in the setting I’m at right now,” he said.
Reinking was nearly naked and wearing only a green jacket when he opened fire outside the restaurant with an assault-style rifle and then stormed the Waffle House, police said. In addition to the four people killed in the shooting, four others were injured. Police have said there would have been far more casualties if it weren’t for a quick-thinking restaurant patron who wrestled the AR-15 rifle away from the gunman.
A judge has ordered Reinking to undergo a mental health evaluation. Friends and relatives have said the 29-year-old one-time crane operator who drifted from state to state suffered from delusions and sometimes talked about plans to marry singer Taylor Swift.
Reinking faces multiple charges, including four counts of criminal homicide and four counts of attempted criminal homicide. He said he was choosing to represent himself in the case because he didn’t like his lawyers.
A public defender representing Reinking has not responded to an email seeking comment. A judge has issued a gag order in the case.