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Dad Charged With Giving Gun to Mass Shooting Suspect

He knew son was mentally ill, prosecutors say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2019 12:29 AM CDT
In this April 22, 2018 photo, law enforcement officials work the scene of a fatal shooting at a Waffle House in the Antioch neighborhood of Nashville, Tenn.   (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, File)
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(Newser) – The father of a man accused of killing four people at a Waffle House in Tennessee last year has been charged with unlawful delivery of a firearm in Illinois, a prosecutor announced Thursday. Jeffrey Reinking's son, Travis Reinking, has been held without bond on first-degree murder charges since the April 2018 attack in Nashville. Authorities said Travis Reinking was wearing only a green jacket when he opened fire at the restaurant with an assault-style rifle. Police credited a quick-thinking patron with wrestling the rifle away from the gunman and likely preventing more deaths. After being charged, Travis Reinking was ordered to receive treatment for schizophrenia at a mental health facility and in October was deemed fit for trial, the AP reports.

Jeffrey Reinking, 55, is accused of knowingly giving an AR-15 rifle to 30-year-old Travis, despite his son having been a patient in the mental health unit of a Peoria hospital. "Mass shootings have raised public awareness regarding the need to keep firearms out of the hands of persons afflicted with mental illness," State's Attorney Stewart J. Umholtz said. "While I strongly support citizens' rights under the Second Amendment, I also strongly support holding individuals accountable for the commission of criminal offenses related to firearms." At one time, Travis Reinking sent text messages to his father in which he punctuated everyday chitchat with delusional rants. (He told police that Taylor Swift had been stalking him.)


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