Hero Diner Stops Shooting After Gunman Kills 4 At Waffle House

Updated April 23, 2:30 p.m. ET: Metro Nashville police confirmed Monday that they arrested suspected gunman Travis Reinking after an intense manhunt. Read more on New York Daily News.


Four people are dead and several more injured after a gunman allegedly opened fire at a Tennessee Waffle House early Sunday morning, and police say many lives were saved by heroic customer James Shaw Jr., who charged the shooter and wrestled the gun away before he could hurt even more people.

According to NBC, witnesses said a man who was naked except for a green jacket got out of a car in the parking lot of a Waffle House in Antioch, a suburb about 12 miles from downtown Nashville, at around 3:23 a.m. on Sunday, April 22. He allegedly shot two people outside the restaurant with what Metro Nashville Police Department Spokesman Don Aaron called an "assault-type rifle," killing them both.

Then the shooter allegedly walked into the restaurant and opened fire, killing one person and injuring three others, one of whom later died at the hospital.

According to The Tennessean, the shooting stopped when 29-year-old Waffle House customer James Shaw Jr. rushed the shooter, tackled him, and wrestled the gun away. According to police, the gunman allegedly paused and looked down at his rifle for a moment, and Shaw took advantage of the pause in the shooting and ran at the suspect.

Shaw was reportedly able to wrestle the gun away from the shooter and threw it behind the counter, and at that point the suspect reportedly ran away. Shaw suffered minor injuries, but none of them were reportedly life-threatening.

"He is the hero here, and no doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and then tossing it over the counter," Aaron said.

The suspect ran away on foot, and he was reportedly completely naked except for the green jacket, which police say was full of ammunition cartridges. The suspect threw the jacket away when he fled.

Police are looking for 29-year-old Travis Reinking of Morton, Illinois, in connection with the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.