Waffle House shooting suspect to be moved to mental health institute for schizophrenia

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Waffle House mass shooting suspect Travis Reinking sat quietly in court Wednesday as a psychologist testified that he is mentally ill and not competent to stand trial at this time.

Dr. Rena Isen said Reinking has schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia include detachment from reality, hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking.  

According to Dr. Isen, Reinking could be treated with medication and training, but he is not “compliant.”

Isen said if Reinking is institutionalized, he will be treated so he can become competent to stand trial.

The nationally accepted standard for competency includes the ability to work with an attorney, rational understanding of the proceedings and rational understanding of the consequences of the proceedings.  

During the court appearance, Judge Mark Fishburn ruled Reinking is dangerous to others and is mentally ill. He ordered that he be moved immediately to the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute for treatment.  

The Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute is a locked down secure facility with 24-hour surveillance. 

At the end of the hearing, Reinking, unprovoked, spoke into a microphone and said, “It’s because of my religion, sir” before he was hushed by his attorneys.

After being hushed by his attorneys, Reinking said,” I just wanted him to know why.” 

There is no context to what exactly Reinking was referring to when he made those statements. 

Doctors will file a report in the next six months about Reinking’s progress.  

Reinking’s parents attended Wednesday’s hearing. At one point, his mother was seen mouthing the words, “I love you” to her son to which Reinking smiled and said, “You too.” 

Several family members of victims, and James Shaw, the man credited for wrestling a rifle away from Reinking, were also in attendance.

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