In the end, it was a citizen tip that ended Monday’s police manhunt for Travis Reinking.
Just as police were widening their search — and speculating that he may have left the state — a phone call around 1 p.m. brought them back to near where they started some 36 hours earlier.
Authorities say they have questions about Reinking’s whereabouts during that time — although he has refused to make a statement — and the community is left to remember the victims.
Police say it took only about 10 minutes to reach the fugitive after receiving the call that brought them to Mountain Springs Road, close to the man’s apartment. The caller said a man had just gone into a wooded area authorities had searched the day before.
“This would not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the community, and it was a citizen’s tip that led to this apprehension,” said police Chief Steve Anderson.
The decisive tip reported a man crossing a construction site in dark jeans and a maroon shirt, wearing a backpack. It turned out to be the 29-year-old Reinking.
He was arrested without a struggle, and police said they found a loaded .45-cailber handgun in his backpack.
Overall, more than 160 Nashville police officers, along with state and federal agents, had been going door-to-door and searching wooded areas across Antioch since before dawn on Sunday.
The only prior sighting of Reinking had been in that vicinity, near the apartment where he lived, said police spokesman Don Aaron.
“This area … was the subject of extensive searching yesterday,” Aaron said. “How long he’d been there … we have a myriad of questions for him.”
In a police photo, a hand-cuffed Reinking wore a torn maroon T-shirt and was splotched with mud. He was booked on four counts of criminal homicide and was being held on a $2 million bond.
Nashville police say Reinking moved to Nashville in the fall of 2017. He worked in construction, but was fired from one employer three weeks ago and started with another last Monday, but did not return to work on the second day.
Police say they later learned that Reinking stole a BMW from a dealership that day and led Brentwood police on a brief rush-hour chase.
Memorials to the victims, all under age 30, spread quickly across social media and funds were created to help families offset funeral costs.
Meanwhile, an Antioch-based church held a prayer vigil on Monday night, which followed a morning service at Belmont University in honor of senior DeEbony Groves, one of four victims identified by Nashville police.
Groves, a Gallatin native, was a dean’s-list student just months away from a social work degree. Police said a friend of hers who was also shot is in critical but stable condition.
Victm Akilah Dasilva, 23, was a rapper and music video producer who went by the stage name Natrix, according to News Channel 5. Dasilva’s girlfriend was also shot and is recovering at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
The youngest victim, Joe Perez, 20, was a customer who was killed outside the restaurant.
The oldest was Taurean Sanderlin, 29, of Goodlettsville, who worked at the Waffle House.
Walt Ehmer, the company's President and CEO, traveled from Georgia to support the families of those involved.
“All of our attention right now is focused on the victims and their families, and our associates who were working that night, and others who were affected and knew the people who were working that night, and we’re here to support them in any way we possibly can,” Ehmer said.