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Family of Waffle House victim in Nashville sues accused shooter’s father

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The family of one of the four people killed in last month’s shooting at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the accused shooter’s father, saying he improperly gave his son access to weapons.

In a complaint dated Monday, the family of Joe Perez said Jeffrey Reinking “voluntarily” gave weapons to his son Travis, despite having promised the sheriff’s office in Tazewell County, Illinois, where the Reinkings live, he would not because the state had revoked Travis’ right to own firearms.

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The family also said Jeffrey Reinking knew his son’s mental health was unpredictable, and that giving the 29-year-old construction worker weapons such as the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle used in the April 22 attack jeopardized the safety of others.

 
Through his agreement with the sheriff’s office, Jeffrey Reinking owed a duty to Waffle House customers and staff to take “reasonable steps” to keep weapons away from his son, and “negligently breached” that duty by providing access to the AR-15, the complaint said.

A lawyer for Jeffrey Reinking did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment.

Joe Perez was 20 when he died. Christian Perez, who oversees his brother’s estate, filed the lawsuit on behalf of their parents, Joe Sr. and Patricia, and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Travis Reinking had a history of troubled behavior before his suspected attack.

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He had tried last July to gain access to the White House, and once believed that pop singer Taylor Swift was stalking him.

“The family of Joey Perez wants to understand the events giving rise to this senseless tragedy,” the family’s lawyer John Day said in a statement. “Part of that inquiry requires learning how—and why—Travis Reinking came to possess the AR-15 assault rifle.”

Travis Reinking was arrested after a 36-hour manhunt, and charged with four counts of murder.

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Bond was set at $2 million, but quickly revoked after a public outcry.

The case is Perez v Reinking, Tazewell County Circuit Court of Illinois, No. 2018L55.

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Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis

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On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.

"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."

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NFL Commissioner Goodell apologizes for league’s indifference to players’ protests against racism

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On Friday, CNN reported that National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell is acknowledging his organization turned a blind eye when his athletes took a knee to protest racism and police violence, and issued a formal apology.

"We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest," Goodell said in a newly released Instagram video. "It has been a difficult time for our country. In particular, black people in our country. First, my condolences to the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and all the families who have endured police brutality."

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Earth Has Hottest May on Record

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"This is unquestionably an alarming sign."

The Earth just experienced its hottest May on record, scientists said Friday—just a day after it was announced that atmospheric CO2 levels hit a new high.

Scientists at Europe's Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced the temperature record Friday. The agency said that globally, last month 0.63°C warmer than the 1981-2020 average for May. That tops the previous warmest May, which occurred in 2016, by 0.05°C.

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