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Trial proceeds in Waffle House shooting that left Belmont student dead

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

Jury selection began Tuesday in the murder trial of a man who shot and killed four people — including a Belmont student — at an Antioch Waffle House in 2018.

Travis Reinking, now 32, entered the restaurant in the wee hours of April 22, 2018, naked except for a green jacket, according to police reports. He opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, killing four and injuring others before the gun was wrestled away by another patron.

Among those killed was 21-year-old DeEbony Groves of Gallatin, Tennessee, who was a senior at Belmont majoring in social work.

Now, four years after Reinking’s arrest, his trial moves forward. Opening statements are scheduled for next Monday.

Reinking pleaded not guilty to 16 charges, including four first-degree murder charges.

If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The proceedings faced months of delays while Reinking received treatment for schizophrenia. A judge later determined him fit to stand trial.

Reinking’s attorneys will likely present an insanity defense, according to Nashville NewsChannel 5, arguing that Reinking was not sane at the time of the shooting, which also killed Joe Perez, 20; Akilah DaSilva, 23; and Taurean Sanderlin, 29.

In May 2018, Groves’ mother, Shirl Baker, walked the Belmont stage to accept her daughter’s diploma at what would have been her commencement.

Groves is remembered by friends and faculty as a passionate, hardworking young woman with a vibrant laugh.

PHOTO: Travis Reinking at a court hearing Monday. Fox 17 News

This article was written by Anna Jackson.

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