The Waffle House shooting suspect was arrested near the White House in 2017, had 4 guns confiscated then returned to him

  • The suspect in the weekend Waffle House shooting was arrested last year by the Secret Service.
  • Travis Reinking, 29, is accused of killing four people and injuring two at a restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, early Sunday morning.
  • Authorities seized four guns belonging to Reinking after his 2017 arrest but later returned them to his father.
  • Authorities believe he may still be armed with two guns.

The man accused of fatally shooting four people at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee, early Sunday morning was arrested by the Secret Service in 2017 after attempting to cross a barrier near the White House, authorities said.

A manhunt was still underway on Sunday evening for Travis Reinking, 29, who authorities believe could be armed with two guns.

Authorities say the gunman fled the Waffle House on foot – wearing no clothing – early Sunday morning after a patron heroically tackled him and wrestled away his weapon. The Metro Nashville Police Department said Reinking could be armed and dangerous.

“Keep your doors locked – keep your eyes open,” Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, told CNN. “If you see this individual – if you see a nude guy walking around this morning – call the police department immediately.”

The police also said Sunday that Reinking’s firearms authorization was revoked after his 2017 arrest at the request of the FBI. Authorities had seized four weapons belonging to him but returned them to Reinking’s father, who said he returned them to his son.

A Secret Service agent said the 2017 White House arrest occurred after Reinking attempted to “set up a meeting” with President Donald Trump.

Special Agent Todd Hudson said Reinking attempted to cross a set of bike racks near the White House grounds that formed a component of the security barriers, the Associated Press reported.

Reinking was asked to leave, refused, and was arrested on a charge of unlawful entry, Hudson said.

The Nashville police said they recovered two guns belonging to Reinking after Sunday’s shooting – including an AR-15 at the scene of the shooting – but believe he could still be armed with his two remaining weapons.

The 2017 arrest wasn’t Reinking’s first brush with law enforcement – police records obtained by media outlets showed that authorities took Reinking to a local hospital for evaluation after he said he believed Taylor Swift was stalking him.

One police report from May 2016 said Reinking believed Swift was hacking his phone, and he said he found her at a Dairy Queen in Morton, Illinois, and chased her until she disappeared, The New York Times reported.

Other police records show that Reinking, dressed in a woman’s pink housecoat, once threatened someone with an AR-15, according to The Tennessean. The records added that Reinking then drove to a public pool, dived in, and then exposed himself to the other poolgoers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.