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Judge revokes bond for Nashville shooting suspect after public outcry

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A Tennessee judge on Tuesday revoked a $2 million bond set for the man accused of opening fire at a Nashville-area Waffle House restaurant, killing four people, while new details emerged of the suspect’s struggles with paranoia and delusions.

Davidson County Judge Michael Mondelli did not give a reason for overturning the bond order issued by a night magistrate following the arrest of Travis Reinking, but his decision followed a public outcry over the possibility that the suspect could potentially be freed from jail.

The Nashville District Attorney’s office was “inundated with calls” from angry members of the public saying the shooting rampage suspect should not be released under any circumstances, spokesman Steve Hayslip said.

“The fact that he might be able to bond out set that fear and panic back in their hearts again,” Hayslip said.

Reinking, a 29-year-old construction worker with a history of erratic behavior and brushes with the law, was captured in woods outside Nashville on Monday after more than a day on the run and charged with four counts of murder.

A hearing set in the case for Wednesday was postponed until May 7. Jon Wing, a Davidson County public defender representing Reinking, did not respond to a request for comment.

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Police say a nearly naked Reinking opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday at the Waffle House restaurant.

 The gunman, who began shooting outside before moving inside, aborted his attack and fled when a customer, 29-year-old James Shaw Jr., wrestled the rifle from him in what authorities called an act of heroism.
Police say they still did not know what motivated the attack and that Reinking was not speaking to investigators.

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall told reporters on Tuesday that the suspect was under medical observation and a suicide watch.

“We have to protect other inmates from him,” Hall said. “And we have to protect him from other inmates.”

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Previous brushes with law enforcement show that Reinking appeared to struggle with delusions of being stalked by people, including pop star Taylor Swift.

Former colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Crane Service where Reinking worked in Salida, Colorado, told a Salida Police Department investigator this week that he was intelligent and quiet, but they worried about his mental health.

They described him as a loner who often played video games, especially ones that involve shooting, and that he was obsessed with Swift, according to a report released by Salida police. Reinking lived in Salida for six months starting in late 2016.

Reinking told everyone he was gay, which two colleagues said appeared to contradict his claims that he would someday marry the 28-year-old female singer.

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“Travis was a good kid, very polite and a hard worker but a little off. It’s just unfortunate that he snapped,” John Turley, a mechanic at the Crane service, told Reuters in a telephone interview. “As the laws are written, he never should have had a gun. I feel sorry for everybody who is suffering.”

Reinking moved to Nashville in 2017 from Illinois. The U.S. Secret Service said it arrested him in Washington in July of last year after he attempted to get into the White House.

After that episode, authorities in Illinois revoked his gun license and confiscated four firearms, including what police said was the rifle used in the Waffle House shooting.

The guns were given to his father, Jeffrey Reinking, who told police he would lock them up and keep them away from his son at their home in Tazewell County, Illinois.

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But the elder Reinking eventually returned the weapons to his son, Nashville police said on Sunday. The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office never took custody of the guns and was not investigating the matter, Chief Deputy Jeffrey Lower said in an email.

Marcus Watson, an agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Reinking’s father could face federal charges if he knowingly transferred weapons to a person who was prohibited from owning them. Jeffrey Reinking could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Tim Ghianni; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen, Brendan O’Brien and Keith Coffman; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Net-zero: climate-saving target or delay tactic?

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With Britain set to become the first major economy to commit in law to reaching a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, what is carbon neutrality, and how will nations reach it?

- Why net-zero? -

Nations are gathered this week in the German city of Bonn to discuss implementing the Paris climate deal -- a landmark accord that in 2015 committed countries to work to limit global temperature rises.

Paris aims to cap warming at two degrees celsius (3.6 Farenheit) and requires nations to submit individually defined plans to slash the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the mercury up.

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2020 Election

Exclusive: Democratic operative who tested Russian tactics in Alabama reveals that Trump continues to crush Democrats on Facebook — by a factor of 9 to 1

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This article was paid for entirely by reader donations to Raw Story Investigates and AlterNet 2020. Become a member and get rid of video ads, or click to make a one-time donation.

The ground shifted under Democrats during the 2016 election, but many refuse to acknowledge just how, or in what direction. Some are still content to lose close elections gracefully, even when the stakes for American democracy are the highest they have ever been. Others are so bent on proving that their electoral strategy is sound that they refuse to acknowledge Mark Zuckerberg has broken the traditional models of voter persuasion.

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Fox & Friends attacks Mueller’s credibility: ‘I don’t think he knows the details of the report’

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The hosts of "Fox & Friends" questioned Robert Mueller's credibility after Congress set a date for the former special counsel to testify about his findings.

Mueller will testify July 17 to lay out evidence of alleged crimes by President Donald Trump and his campaign associates, and Fox News broadcasters suggested questions that could undercut his impartiality.

"How did it make you feel when president of the United States said that you're compromised, or how did it make you feel when the president of the United States kept attacking the process?" said co-host Brian Kilmeade. "What did you think about the rumors he was going to fire you? I'm not sure he is going to answer that either."

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