FILE – In this Aug. 22, 2018 file photo, Travis Reinking appears during a hearing in Nashville, Tennessee. Reinking, accused of killing four people in a Nashville Waffle House, used to send his father to text messages in which he peppered every day chatting with delusional rants. Police say the 29-year-old Reinking was almost naked, only dressed in a green jacket, when he opened fire outside the restaurant on April 22 and then stormed inside. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
NASHVILLE, Tennessee. – The man accused of killing four people in a Nashville Waffle House used to send his father to text messages in which he peppered every day chatting with delusional rants.
Police say the 29-year-old Reinking was almost naked, only dressed in a green jacket, when he opened fire outside the restaurant on April 22 and then stormed inside. The police said that there would be many more casualties if not for a quick-thinking restaurant patron who struggled for the AR-15 rifle away from the shooter.
By the time of the shooting, Reinking’s erratic behavior had already come to the attention of the enforcement of the law, including the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois, where he lived part-time.
According to various incident reports, Reinking believed that the singer Taylor Swift was stalking and harassing him, including hacking into his computer and phone. He believed the police and his family were a part of the conspiracy, and his delusions went back to at least August 2014.
The texts between the father and the son, which have been submitted as evidence in federal court this week to start in April 2017, just a year before the shooting, as Reinking discussed making money by the sale of a patent. Friendly back-and-forth texts about the work and the dinner lasted until May 21, 2017, Reinking said to his father: he was going to have to start keeping his phone off most of the time and would go to the library when he wanted to make use of the internet.
“These people are still listening to and reading things on my phone over the internet,” he wrote. Then, “I don’t want to hear that gay things accidentally as I try to learn about something else, and they say stupid things, I am a transsexual, and things like that.”
A few minutes later he wrote that he was “thinking about going to the ball diamonds for practice later. You want to come.”
On May 23, 2017, Reinking wrote, “These people told me that you signed a non disclosure agreement, to hide it for me. If you help them, then stop no matter what the cost. I don’t think you fully realize what these people have done for me. … These people tried to kill me.”
A few weeks later, his father texted him about a job and he texted back: “You go to hell for what you are doing. Don’t say that nobody warned you. You are of the same type of people that Jesus nailed to the cross. They acted out of fear, because of what they do not understand.”
But the next day he sent a text that read,” It’s a red jeep Cherokee on sale on the corner of Baer and 9 now for 6k. Looks newer and nice.”
On June 23, 2017, Reinking texted that he was moving out of state for work”, So you don’t need to worry about me ever again.”
In July 2017, Reinking was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service in the White House, where officials say that he was seeking an audience with President Trump, but he was soon released. No texts to refer to the arrest.
On July 31, 2017, Reinking and apologized for his father to “vent,” write, “I feel terrible like I’m accusing you of something that you are not involved in. I don’t know what else to believe.”
But the next day he sent a long, profanity-laced rant and calling his father a “psychopath” and write, “You are actively mistreating me, with the organised crime, and than be dishonest about doing it.”
A week later he sent a text about insurance for a truck.
On Nov. 12, 2017, Reinking sent the message, “Dad, I have a place outside the city, now I’m going to need to get my firearms back from you somehow.”
Jeffrey Reinking had saved, his son, the guns and the gun in his weapon safe after the police revoked Travis Reinking the Illinois firearms owner identification. The official reason for the withdrawal, was that he was a non-resident, although officials have said that the action came at the request of the federal agents after the White House to arrest.
At least three separate lawsuits by family members of the victims wrong Jeffrey Reinking for negligence, because he returned to the arms of his son.
Jeffrey Reinking’s lawyer said in a deposition filed on Monday that a criminal investigation into the case is still pending. But the document also says Reinking’t believe he had the authority to keep his son’s guns when Travis Reinking demanded them back.
The last texts between father and son came on Oct. 19, 2017, Jeffrey Reinking invited his son to come for breakfast after church.
After that, Travis Reinking leave the city and his father not sure where he was, until he heard about the April shooting, Jeffrey Reinking said in the deposition.
After the attack, Travis Reinking was sentenced to treatment in a psychiatric institution for schizophrenia. In October, the public prosecutor said that the mental health of the officials came to the conclusion Reinking was competent to face the charges in court.
Jeffrey Reinking sent a number of texts that remain unanswered between the time that his son leave the city and the recording, including one on Jan. 10, 2018, which reads, ” Mommy and I are wondering if everything is ok. We still have not heard from you. And we are still involved.”