NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Friday marks four years since a half-naked gunman walked into an Antioch Waffle House and began shooting, killing four people.
According to The Akilah Dasilva Foundation, a vigil will be held Friday at 5 p.m. at Public Square in downtown Nashville. It will honor the four young lives lost in that shooting, but organizers also want to honor others who have been lost to gun violence.
It was just after 3 a.m. on April 22, 2018 when Travis Reinking walked into the Waffle House on Murfreesboro Pike and opened fire. DeEbony Groves, Akilah Dasilva, Taurean Sanderlin, and Joe Perez died of their injuries.
Metro Police said things could've been worse if not for the heroic actions of James Shaw Jr. He testified before a jury in January that he watched Reinking point the gun down to reload. That's when he took action.
"There was a voice that told me to do it, do it now. I wanted to keep an eye on him to find my moment and find that opportunity. I ran through the door as fast as I could. I ran through the door thinking it was going to me or him or death. I had to think when we're literally fighting off what I could do and not get injured. 'You're going to have to grab the barrel, James. You're going to have to push it down,' [I said to myself.] As he goes for my left hand, I take my left hand off him and pulling and pulling and I get the gun and I throw it. It seemed like the gun was in the air for days and it finally get over the bar. I manhandled him out of my way."
On February 4, 2022, a jury found Reinking guilty of all 16 counts against him, including premeditated murder. He was sentenced to spend his life in prison, without the possibility of parole.
Good has come out of this tragedy. Families of some of the victims have turned their grief into action.
The family of Akilah Dasilva created The Akilah Dasilva Foundation, which is committed to making sure the victims of crimes get justice they deserve.
Shirl Baker, the mother of DeEbony Groves, created the DeEbony Groves Foundation. She has hosted weekends for Nashville-area motherswho have lost a child through tragic circumstances.