New lawsuits filed against suspected gunman, his father, Waffle House in shooting

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One year after four people were killed by an active shooting at the Waffle House in Antioch, victims and their families have levied a number of new lawsuits against the suspected gunman Travis Reinking, his father, and the place where it all happened. 

The new lawsuits against Travis and Jefferey Reinking were recently filed in both Nashville and Tazewell County, Illinois, where the Reinking family currently resides.

Shooting victim Sharita Henderson, who was severely injured during the shooting, filed a suit Monday in Tazewell County, Ill. against Jeffrey Reinking. She claims the suspect gunman’s father was negligent when he returned guns back to his son, Travis, despite knowing of issues with his mental state. She’s asking for more than $50,000 in damages. 

Henderson also filed a lawsuit in Davidson County Circut Court on Thursday against Waffle House, Inc. and Mid-South Waffles, Inc., which operates the location in Antioch where the shooting occurred, claiming negligence related to the incident on April 22, 2018. The suit asks for up to $25,000,000 in damages. 

In the lawsuit against Waffle House, Henderson claims that the company knew or should have known about the “substantial amount of criminal activity had occurred in the immediate vicinity” of the location at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike, which is referred to in the complaint as “an attractive target for violent criminal activity because of the absence of security personnel and/or designed deterrent measures.”

Henderson says the criminal acts against the victims of the shooting “were reasonably foreseeable […] during the late-night and early morning hours,” and Waffle House reasonably should have had the foresight to provide security measures, such as an armed guard, who would have stopped the accused shooter from carrying a large weapon in the parking lot or entering the premises on the morning of the shooting. 

Jeffrey Reinking is also facing another lawsuit in Tazewell County, filed last Wednesday by Blanch Anderson, the aunt of shooting victim Taurean Sanderlin. Like Henderson’s complaint against him, Anderson claims Jeffrey Reinking was negligent in returning firearms to his son. The suit asks for more than $50,000 in damages. 

As reported last week, Shirl Baker, the mother of shooting victim DeEbony Groves, filed a complaint in Davidson County last Wednesday against both Travis in Jeffrey Reinking. 

Like two of the lawsuits previously mentioned, Baker accuses Jeffrey Reinking of negligence for returning firearms to his son after they were confiscated by local authorities. Baker also asks for damages related to Travis’ alleged actions in the shooting incident. 

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