Dad Charged With Giving Gun to Mass Shooting Suspect – By Newser Staff (Newser) / March 15 2019
He knew son was mentally ill, prosecutors say
(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.)