NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The final chapter for Antioch Waffle House mass shooter Travis Reinking came to an end Friday as Judge Fishburn ruled he will serve his four life sentences consecutively, plus 114 years.
Testimony from the victim’s families as well as the survivors showed the epitome of strength and courage. Stories from the families of Joe Perez Jr., Taurean Sanderlin, Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves, as well as the survivors, painted imagery of life-long repercussions at the hands of a mass shooter.
“There are still bullet fragments in my ribs and in my arm that you left behind,” Sharita Henderson said, looking into the eyes of Reinking. “They had to use my back muscle to recreate my leg because you blew it off.”
Henderson said she has undergone 24 surgeries and had to learn to walk again three times.
James Shaw Jr., who is credited for his heroic efforts in wrestling away Reinking’s gun, gave haunting testimony of the gruesome images he recalled from 1,545 days ago.
“I remember DeEbony under the table. I remember stepping over Akilah. I remember Taurean… walking past Taurean and seeing his lock blown off his head. I remember it all,” he said.
Shaw brought his 8-year-old daughter to the sentencing, not only so she could hear the courage of those survivors but see the face of the man behind the devastation.
“I wanted my daughter to see what a real villain looks like, what a real evil person looks like and I just wanted him to see what he could have took from her also. I just wanted everybody to see what it really looks like,” he told News 2 after the sentencing.
We saw little emotion from Reinking throughout the testimony. While he was called a coward, some pointed out that he’s not hated and they pray for him.
Reinking’s parents who sat in the front row were also addressed during the testimony. They had no comment following the sentencing.
Judge Fishburn acknowledged Reinking has a severe mental illness, but that he knew what he was doing when he unloaded an AR-15 style rifle at the Antioch Waffle House.