Accused Waffle House shooter's dad named in wrongful death lawsuit
Travis Reinking

By Kaylin Jorge, WZTV

NASHVILLE -- (WZTV) -- Accused Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking's father has been named in a lawsuit filed by the family of one of the four people killed.

Documents obtained by FOX 17 News show Christian Perez, brother of Joe Perez, filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Jeffrey Reinking in a Tazwell County, Illinois, court.

Joe Perez, 20, of Antioch, was gunned down at a Waffle House in Antioch on April 22.

The wrongful death lawsuit says Travis Reinking got the gun he used in the shooting, a Bushmaster AR-15, from his father, Jeffrey, who "voluntarily" gave the weapon to Travis, even though he was not supposed to, per the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office.

The lawsuit brings up several instances to support the case that Jeffrey knew of Travis' mental health issues and was not supposed to have guns:

  • In May 2016, the lawsuit says Travis’ parents called 911 to ask for help addressing the “delusional state of mind” of their son. Travis became hostile with police when they went to take him to a hospital for a mental evaluation.

  • In 2017, the lawsuit claims Jeffrey knew his son believed superstar Taylor Swift was harassing him by stalking and hacking his phone. Also that year, the lawsuit says Travis told police his parents and grandmother were harassing him.

  • Travis' former employer in Colorado brought up concerns about his mental health to Jeffrey in 2017.

  • At Jeffrey's business, J & J Cranes, Travis dressed up in a pink woman’s housecoat and allegedly threatened an employee while holding the AR-15. The gun used to kill Joe Perez was the same gun Travis was not supposed to have access to, even though the lawsuit says Jeffrey knew his son had mental health problems, citing the incidents above.

The lawsuit states Jeffrey knew his son’s mental health status would decline and put him at a risk for suicide or injuring other people. The lawsuit adds decline of mental health could also lead to threatening people and injuring them with a gun, including the Bushmaster AR-15.

Jeffrey agreed with the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office to take possession of all the firearms, including the AR-15, and not to let Travis have possession of those weapons as his rights to have a firearm in the state had been revoked.

FULL STORY: Accused Waffle House shooter's dad named in wrongful death lawsuit - WZTV