Travis Reinking thought Taylor Swift was stalking him at one point.
Travis Reinking killed four people at a Nashville area Waffle House on Sunday. One brave civilian, James Shaw Jr, was unarmed and still found a moment to disarm Reinking, forcing him to flee the scene. Police are still on the hunt for Reinking, and as the manhunt continues, several facts about the deranged 29-year-old are being released.
According to News Channel 5, Reinking believed that Taylor Swift was stalking him. Authorities with the Tazewell County Illinois Sheriff's Office have released information stating that they had dealt with Reinking in the past (he is originally from Illinois but moved to Tennesse). The information released is disturbing and raises the question as to how Reinking was able to continue carrying weapons.
On May 27, 2016, Illinois authorities state that they responded to a call at a CVS in Morton because Reinking's parents were scared for their child. They reported that their son had been experiencing delusions for at least two years at that point. Reinking told officers who responded to the call that he was being stalked by Taylor Swift, and that the pop singer had hacked his phone. He also claimed that Swift hacked his Netflix account and instructed him to meet her at a Dairy Queen. Reinking claimed he chased Swift up the roof of a house where she disappeared, leaving him confused. "There is evidence there is some mental health issues involved," stated Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston in connection to the Swift incident.
But wait, there's more.
According to The New York Post, another incident found Reinking threating a man with an AR-15 in 2017. He was wearing his underwear and a pink woman's overcoat when he entered into an argument with a man, and then he threw the gun into the trunk of his car. Reinking then made his way to a public pool and hopped in. After lifeguards instructed him to leave the pool, Reinking became violent and stripped off the pink coat, which has also been identified as a dress. He argued that he was a man and showed off his genitals to the guards before authorities responded to the incident. Reinking's father told authorities he would lock up his son's weapons at this point, to keep the public safe. No charges were filed.
But wait, there's more.
According to The Tennessean, Reinking was detained after being caught in a restricted zone near the White House in 2017. After authorities arrested him, Reinking's Illinois firearms authorization was revoked and four weapons were seized, including the AR-15 used in the Waffle House shooting. "Among the weapons seized by those authorities was the AR-15 rifle used at the Waffle House today," said Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron at a press conference regarding the massacre. Reinking's father vouched for his son, and since he also owned an Illinois firearms authorization card, authorities allowed him to keep his son's guns instead of confiscating them on the promise that he would keep them locked up. Authorities believe his father gave him the guns back. Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson stated that he believes under Illinois state law, giving the confiscated guns to another person who has a legal firearms authorization is legal.
Reinking is still at large, and the police incidents regarding the Taylor Swift incident, and the pool incident, can be viewed here.