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Remembering the people killed, injured in the Tennessee Waffle House shooting

(Fox 17 News)

Family, friends and Nashville neighbors are heartbroken after a deadly mass shooting at a Antioch Waffle House over the weekend.

Metro Police say suspect Travis Reinking arrived at the Waffle House in a pickup truck at about 3:19 a.m. on Sunday. He sat inside the truck for a few minutes before exiting the vehicle with an AR-15 rifle and immediately shot Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29, of Goodlettsville, and Joe R. Perez, 20, outside the restaurant. Both Sanderlin and Perez died from the shooting.

Reinking continued inside, where Metro Police say he continued shooting, fatally wounding De'Ebony Groves, 21, of Gallatin, and Akilah Dasilva, 23, of Antioch, who later died at the hospital.

Police say hero James Shaw Jr. then saw an opportunity to take down Reinking and was able to wrestle the AR-15 from him, saving many lives. Reinking, who was nude aside from a jacket, fled the Waffle House and shed the jacket nearby.

Reinking is also accused of shooting and injuring three others, two of whom are still at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in stable condition.

Now that the suspect has been arrested and charged with four counts of murder, loved ones are looking for healing amidst the tragic loss of such young lives.

De’Ebony Groves was among four people killed in the shooting Sunday morning. Groves attended Belmont University in Nashville.

Belmont released the following statement on Groves' tragic death:

“DeEbony Groves was a senior at Belmont University majoring in social work. The entire campus community is shocked and devastated by how such senseless violence has taken the life of this young woman, an individual full of immense potential. We extend our thoughts and prayers to her family and friends as they come to terms with unimaginable grief. Belmont will be offering counseling and other support services to members of our campus in the coming hours and days.”

Mt. Zion Church in Antioch held a vigil for Groves and all the shooting victims on Monday night.

"To be only 21 years old to lose her life like this is kind of distraught to everybody," said Steven Hamilton, a friend of Groves. "She was working two jobs, a senior in college. We were all friends outside of this. We were in a group chat that we were all in."

As hundreds prayed and sang on Monday trying to understand why something like this would happen, family members of Akilah Dasilva, 23, remembered him as a great man who had a passion for music.

“He is a humble and loving child, and there’s no words for me to describe the type of person he is, I know I miss him and the entire family because of who he is,” Greta Dasilva said.

Akilah’s uncle Ezrick Dasilva said Akilah had a passion for music.

"Wonderful kid, all I know is great friends, wonderful for the family," Ezrick said. "He’s gonna be missed so much."

Michael Fletcher, known in the music industry as “6 Tusks” says he’s heartbroken over Akilah's death. His close friend who he made memories and music with is no longer here.

“I miss him, and he was just a very genuine person," Michael Fletcher said. "Hurts a lot of us that he’s now gone."

Fletcher was supposed to go with him that morning police say Travis Reinking gunned Dasilva down at a Antioch Waffle House.

“Something just told me to stay home, and I ended up waking up the next morning and was reading about it,” Fletcher said.

The last hours have been heavy and hard. Dasilva’s talent, big heart and bright light now dim. To cope, Fletcher who’s known Dasilva since 7th grade, did what he and his friend did best - make music. He’s honoring him with a special tribute song he wrote in thirty minutes.

Fletcher isn’t the only one hurting after this tragic shooting.

“Everybody was affected by it," Smoov said. "When you say Sherita’s name, everybody in the whole building knows who it was,” said Kenny

Smoov is the program director at WQQK 92Q radio station. Sharita Henderson is one of two survivors, and she’s been part of the promotions team at 92q for two years.

She is recovering at the hospital surrounded by her parents, friends and waves of sorority sisters from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. who have been by her side.

“She’s a wonderful, bright articulate and intelligent person who has the promise of the world in front of her," Smoov said. "Just the thought that it was almost cut off it’s just frightening in itself."

Smoov says his heart goes out to all of those hurt by this shooting but hopes something good can come out of something so bad.

“There are too many of (the shootings) happening," Smoov said. "Hopefully this is the turning point when people stop."

Joe Perez and Taurean Sanderlin were also remembered at Monday's vigil. Mayor David Briley, MNPD Police Chief Steve Anderson, along with Waffle House executives joined in the vigil.


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