by: Chelsea Beimfohr
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Survivors and families of those killed in the 2018 Waffle House shooting spree are breathing a sigh of relief after a jury convicted Travis Reinking Friday on all 16 charges against him, including four counts of first-degree murder.
Reinking is now convicted of the shooting deaths of Taureen Sanderlin, Joe Perez, DeEbony Groves and Akila DaSilva.
Joe Perez’s mother, Patricia, spoke with News 2 while she was waiting to hear the verdict. She showed our crew the last photo taken of her son on the night of the shooting and wore his ashes around her neck.
“He chose to take those lives. Unfortunately, my son was the first one that was killed,” Patricia said. “I believe he knew what he was doing.”
Dozens of other victims and family members cried and hugged after the verdict came down. The jury deliberated about four hours before unanimously agreeing Reinking was guilty on all counts.
Reinking’s family was also seen tearfully leaving the courtroom Friday, and they did not stop for comment.
Akilah DaSilva’s family also spoke with News 2 after the verdict, describing the last four years as a nightmare. His mother, Shaundelle Brooks, said she was happy they’d made it to this moment.
“For four years I have been trying to stand up and fight for justice for my son,” Brooks said. “True justice is having my son here, but unfortunately you know this is what we have. This is the next, closest to true justice.”
Reinking’s sentencing heading begins Saturday at 9:00 a.m. He could face life in prison without parole.