Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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DeEbony Groves; Joe R. Perez; Taurean C. Sanderlin; and Akilah DaSilva.

Tennessee Waffle House Shooting Was Area’s Second Deadly Gun Rampage in Seven Months

Four people were killed and at least four others were wounded during a shooting early Sunday morning at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee. Two of the injured remain hospitalized.

Here’s what we know about the four people killed:

  • Joe R. Perez, 20: Perez moved to Nashville from Austin, Texas, where he graduated from Jack C. Hays High School. He worked as a subcontractor for a moving company. “Our lives are shattered,” his mother wrote on Facebook.
  • DeEbony Groves, 21: Groves was a senior at Belmont University, where she was studying social work and on the dean’s list. She was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Her high school basketball coach described her as “a great role model for the other players because of her hard work and dedication to her studies and to her school.” She was scheduled to graduate next Saturday.
  • Akilah DaSilva, 23: DaSilva was a rapper and music video producer known locally by his stage name, Natrix. He was a student at Middle Tennessee State University and hoped to pursue a career in musical engineering. “He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart,” a family member wrote. He leaves behind five siblings and his partner of five years, Tia Waggoner, who was also injured in the shooting. “No one will ever replace you,” Waggoner wrote on Facebook.
  • Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29: Sanderlin was known as “T” by regulars at the Waffle House, where he worked for five years. A cook, he was saving money to one day start a family, his cousin told The Washington Post. She described Sanderlin as a “kind, gentle-hearted gentleman” who enjoyed football, hunting, and fishing.

Authorities identified the suspect as Travis Reinking, an Illinois native who had his guns taken away after he was arrested at the White House last year. Last Spring, Reinking was arrested after entering a restricted area of the White House grounds and declaring himself a sovereign citizen. At the FBI’s request, police confiscated Reinking’s guns, giving them to his father. Sometime thereafter, his father returned the weapons, including the AR-15 that Reinking reportedly used on Sunday. On Monday, Metropolitan Nashville Police officials announced on Twitter that they had taken the suspect into custody. The man was arrested in a wooded area near his Nashville apartment with a handgun and ammunition in a backpack.

A local man is being called a hero after wrestling the gunman to the ground, sending him fleeing. James Shaw Jr., 29, works at AT&T and as a small business consultant. He told the Tennesseean that his 4-year-old daughter Brooklyn was on his mind as he was transported to the hospital with a wound on his hand from grabbing the rifle’s barrel. “I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it,” he said.

Mayor David Briley of Nashville responded to the shooting on Sunday by calling for comprehensive gun reform, including the regulation of assault-style rifles like the one used by the gunman. “If we can all just come together for the greater good, we can take these weapons of war off the streets of our country,” he said.

The mass shooting was the area’s second gun rampage in seven months. In September, a masked gunman killed one woman and injured seven others following a Sunday church service. So far in 2018, according to Gun Violence Archive, the United States has had 67 mass shootings, which GVA defines as incidents in which four or more people are killed or injured.

So far this year, at least 47 people have been killed and 54 people have been injured with an assault-style rifle, according to Gun Violence Archive.