Waffle House Shooting Victims Include Star Athlete And Local Musician

The Nashville, Tennessee, area is in mourn­ing after a mass shoot­ing at a Waffle House left four peo­ple dead on Sunday.

Police say Travis Reinking, 29, opened fire at the restau­rant around 3:30 a.m. with an AR-15 rifle. After a bystander wres­tled the assault-style weapon away from Reinking, the sus­pect­ed gun­man fled, naked and on foot.

Authorities on Monday con­tin­ued search­ing for Reinking, who has been charged with mul­ti­ple counts of crim­i­nal homi­cide.

Reinking is accused in the fatal shoot­ings of Taurean Sanderlin, Joe Perez, Akilah DaSilva and DeEbony Groves. Police said he also injured Shanita Waggoner and Sharita Henderson.

Here’s what we know about the vic­tims:


Sanderlin was a cook at the Waffle House. He was tak­ing a break out­side, where he was shot to death when the gun­man opened fire.

He had worked for Waffle House for five years, the restau­rant chain’s CEO Walter Ehmer told The Tennessean. Sanderlin trans­ferred to the Waffle House where the shoot­ing took place when it opened about five months ago, Ehmer said.

The sense­less­ness that con­tin­ues to hap­pen will not be over­looked and we will not allow the ene­my to take vic­to­ry,” Taurean’s cousin Tiffany Sanderlin wrote on Facebook. “We cel­e­brate the Life he [led] and take refuge in the per­son he was.”

Sanderlin was a fan of rap, accord­ing to his Facebook page, and fol­lowed sev­er­al rap­pers, includ­ing Gucci Mane and Yo Gotti, on the site.

Joe Perez, 20


Perez, a Waffle House cus­tomer, was killed out­side the restau­rant. He was orig­i­nal­ly from the Austin, Texas, area, accord­ing to his Facebook pro­file.

Please say a prayer for my fam­i­ly for today is the hard­est day of my life,” his moth­er, Trisha Perez, wrote in a Facebook post. “My hus­band and sons are bro­ken right now with this loss. Our lives are shat­tered.”

Akilah DaSilva, 23


DaSilva was shot while eat­ing inside the Waffle House. He died after being trans­port­ed to a hos­pi­tal.

DaSilva, who went by the nick­name “Natrix,” was orig­i­nal­ly from Brooklyn, New York, accord­ing to his Facebook pro­file. He was a rap artist and music video pro­duc­er, The Tennessean reports.

He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart,” DaSilva’s fam­i­ly said in a state­ment. “He embod­ied com­pas­sion and had a zeal for life. A lov­ing son and self­less friend, he was a bea­con of hope, love, and strength in his fam­i­ly.”

DaSilva’s girl­friend, 21-year-old Shanita Waggoner, was injured in the shoot­ing.

DeEbony Groves, 21


Groves, a senior at Belmont University, was shot to death inside the restau­rant. She was a star ath­lete and an indus­tri­ous stu­dent, accord­ing to her high school bas­ket­ball coach Kim Kendrick.

She was a bril­liant young lady, very, very intel­li­gent and a very hard work­er,” Kendrick told The Tennessean. “She was a very lik­able young lady. She was one of three seniors on her team, and she was a great role mod­el for the oth­er play­ers because of her hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to her stud­ies and to her school.”

The shoot­er…

Travis Reinking. The shoot­er used an AR15 to mur­der the peo­ple above. He was arrest­ed with­out inci­dent on Monday.

The hero.

James Shaw Jr

The hero who wres­tled the Ar-15 rifle from the mur­der­ing scum before he ran away.