TN: Waffle House Employees Mourn Coworkers; Hero Raises Money for Employees and Victims

Liz Carey

Nashville, TN ( – Employees returned to the Nashville Waffle House where two of their coworkers were shot and killed Wednesday, while the Waffle House Corporation pledged to support the shooting victims and their families.

And the Waffle House customer who thwarted the gunman’s attack raised more than $150,000 to help those he saved.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday morning, as previously reported by, Travis Reinking, 29, stepped out of his truck carrying an AR-15 and opened fire on the restaurant, killing four and injuring four more. One of the dead was employee Taurean Sanderlin, 29, who was shot as he stood outside of the restaurant on his cigarette break. Another employee, Joe Perez, 20, was shot inside the restaurant.

Also killed were Akilah Dasilva, 23, a Middle Tennessee State University student, and DeEbony Groves, 21, a student at Belmont University.

Police say James Shaw, Jr., a customer, rushed the gunman and wrestled the gun away from Reinking. Reinking, who was wearing nothing but a green jacket at the time, fled the scene, but was captured the following day after a manhunt throughout Antioch, a suburb of Nashville.

On Wednesday, as the Associated Press reported, Waffle House employees returned to work, some crying, some still showing signs of injury, as the neighborhood around the store rallied around them. Waffle House corporate offices said the company will donate a month’s sales from the restaurant to support the victims injured in the attack and the families of those killed.

Pat Warner, company spokesman, did not return requests for comment by press time.

Shaw, lauded by many as a hero for preventing further bloodshed, launched a GoFundMe campaign not long after the shooting, to benefit the families of the living and deceased victims of the attack. Since then, the fund has raised more than $150,000 with donations from celebrities both liberal and conservative.

Another fundraiser, launched by a New York man to benefit Shaw, has raised more than $165,000 as of Thursday.