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Video: Waffle House Shooter Escaped Cops in Stolen BMW Before Massacre

Travis Reinking led police on a chase last week after boosting a car from a dealership, but cops terminated pursuit. Now he’s under arrest for quadruple murder.

Steven Hale4.23.18 4:39 PM ET

NASHVILLE—Five days before he allegedly opened fire in a Waffle House, Travis Reinking led police in a tony Nashville suburb on a chase in a stolen BMW.

Weaving through rush-hour traffic, he ignored the lights and sirens behind him, before Brentwood police officers terminated their pursuit after a few minutes. Reinking was identified as the suspected thief on Monday as police hunted him down for killing four people at the restaurant in nearby Antioch.

Reinking was arrested Monday afternoon, nearly 34 hours after the shooting and less than a mile from the scene of the massacre. Nashville police officers captured him after responding to a call from a local resident who reported seeing a man walking into a wooded area.

Last Tuesday, according to Brentwood police, he arrived at BMW of Nashville in Brentwood at around 5:40 p.m., posing as a customer. After stealing a key fob from a salesperson, police say, he got in a 2018 BMW X6 and drove away from the dealership.

A general manager at the dealership declined to comment Monday afternoon.

Later that evening, according to police, officers from the Metro Nashville Police Department located the vehicle at the apartment complex where Reinking was living. The vehicle was unoccupied.

It’s that apartment complex that police believe Reinking returned to after the shooting Sunday morning, putting on some clothes before taking off again toward a wooded area. When police searched his apartment Sunday, they found the stolen BMW key fob connecting him to the theft last week.

Officers from the Brentwood Police Department, south of Nashville, did not know who was driving the last Tuesday. After a short chase, Brentwood police officials said they ended their pursuit “in accordance with Brentwood Police policy and since the stolen vehicle was equipped with a GPS tracking device.”

“We have a policy in regard to all vehicle pursuits that is in line with national standards,” Assistant Chief Tommy Walsh told The Daily Beast in an email. “The policy was followed by the officers involved in this incident. In this case we had an unknown suspect in a vehicle that was travelling down a heavily travelled roadway during rush hour. The vehicle was able to be tracked by GPS.

“In the opinion of the supervisor who ultimately called off the pursuit the risk to the public in continuing the pursuit outweighed the continuation, particularly considering we had the option of tracking via GPS. Obviously had we known that this suspect was going to do what he did on Sunday morning that decision may have been different, but at the time of the vehicle theft and pursuit we did not know the identity of the suspect or what he was capable of.”

“It would be unfair to judge the Brentwood Police Department on what we know in hindsight,” Walsh added. “We did not know who this was last Tuesday and did not connect him to the vehicle theft until after he had committed the crime at Waffle House.”

It was another near miss for Reinking, who has had several other run-ins with law enforcement in recent years. He was arrested at the White House in July 2017 for being in a restricted area, an incident that led authorities in Illinois to revoke his firearms license. Prior to that, he allegedly threatened someone with an AR-15 and exposed himself to people at a public pool.

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