Top prosecutor says it's important to finish sentencing Waffle House shooter

5p Travis Reinking Update vo.transfer_frame_937.jpeg
Posted at 1:23 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 22:48:12-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking is now serving life in prison without parole for four murders.

But the case remains open.

District Attorney Glenn Funk says it's important to move forward now with additional sentencing for those injured in the shooting.

Prosecutors say a sentence of life in prison without parole for the four murders is not enough. They say that the judge needs to hold Reinking also accountable for the four he injured as well.

"If the judge decides to run some of these life sentences consecutive, it not only sends a message for a deterrent value but also validates what the victims have gone through for where they get justice for themselves," said General Funk.

After a week-long trial, the jury convicted Reinking on all counts for the 2018 shooting at an Antioch Waffle House. On top of the four murder charges, his convictions include two counts of attempted first-degree murder with serious bodily injury, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and four counts of employing a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony.

He was only sentenced on the murder charges. The judge will sentence him on the other charges in May.

"Nobody is in their right mind while they are doing a mass shooting. The question is do you know the nature of your conduct and the wrongfulness of your conduct," said Funk.

The jury decided Reinking was not insane and that he knew right from wrong — thus sentencing him to life in prison without parole for the four murders.

General Funk said a hearing remains which will add additional years to the sentence for the four others injured in the shooting who survived.

Some wondered why he didn't seek the death penalty.

Funk says he consulted with the families of the victims, some told him: "Not only do we want first-degree murder... we want the death penalty."

But not all did.

"Some voiced no, we want life without parole," said Funk.

With no consensus, prosecutors sought a life sentence. They got it and that assures Reinking will be locked up forever.

"We know that he will never be able to hurt anyone again," Funk said.

Reinking is being evaluated in the state system but will return to Nashville for additional sentencing this May.

After that, he'll be assigned permanently to a state prison where he'll spend the rest of his life.