Local Couple Aids In Arrest Of Antioch Shooting Suspect

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

By now, almost everyone in the United States has been made aware of the tragic shooting that took place in Antioch on April 22, 2018. An armed individual entered the Waffle House shortly after 3 a.m. and took the lives of four innocent patrons (Taurean Sanderlin, 29, Joe Perez, 20, DeEbony Groves, 21, and Akilah DaSilva, 23) before being confronted and disarmed by another patron, identified as a Mr. James Shaw Jr. The shooter fled the scene on foot and remained at large throughout the remainder of Sunday.

Monday, April 23, while working on their job site for Horst Brother’s Construction in Antioch, Fentress County couple Brian and Lydia French observed and identified a suspicious individual who they believed to be the suspect of the deadly shooting that ocurred at the Waffle House in Antioch early Sunday morning.

According to Mrs. French, her husband and two other crew members saw the suspect walking through the mud of their job site when he looked at her and said “He’s right here!” Mrs. French said she asked her husband if he wanted her to call  911, to which he replied “Absolutely!”

According to Mrs. French, the suspect realized that he had been seen and darted into a nearby patch of woods. A few moments later, they saw the suspect again, coming out of the woods, apparently walking in the direction of an elementary school in close proximity to the French’s job site. Mrs. French then called the police again. “We were sure that it was him, he had the black backpack, he was a taller person, and he just looked so suspicious walking through the mud. Seeing him walking towards that school was just so eerie.” Mrs. French said that she felt anxious, nervous and “so many other emotions! I was thinking ‘Is this real?’ we hoped it was him, but it was certainly an experience we never expected to have.”

According to police reports, the suspect, identified as Travis Reinking, was apprehended within ten minutes of Mrs. French’s second 911 call. The suspect had a handgun in his backpack.

Reinking has since been charged with four counts of murder and placed under a $2,000,000 bond. He is due to appear in court Wednesday, April 25.

In an interview with the Courier on Tuesday morning, Mrs. French said that she and her husband were “very relieved” now that the suspect is in custody and unable to do harm to anyone else.

“It’s just such a sad thing to have happen.” said Lydia French. “We are parents ourselves, and we have seen kids playing outside of these apartments were he lived, right next to were we work. We’re just glad he didn’t hurt more people than he did.”

Read the rest of the story in this week’s Fentress Courier.