Waffle House shooting suspect arrested by Nashville police | News | DW | 23.04.2018
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Waffle House shooting suspect arrested by Nashville police

A man suspected of opening fire on patrons at a 24-hour restaurant in the early hours of Sunday morning has been detained. Police do not know what motivated the shooter to kill four people and injure several more.

The man suspected of shooting dead four people at a Waffle House restaurant in the US state of Tennessee has been arrested.

"[The suspect was] apprehended moments ago in a wooded area," Nashville Metro police wrote on Twitter.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said separately that the suspect had been taken to a nearby hospital and would be officially charged with four counts of murder.

Read more: US students call for end to gun violence on Columbine anniversary

Early morning massacre

Authorities in Nashville had launched a massive manhunt after the shooter fled the Waffle House in the early hours of Sunday morning. They identified the suspect as a 29-year-old construction worker.

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Police believe the man responsible for opening fire on people outside the diner, killing two, before entering the building and firing on people inside, killing another two and critically injuring several more.

The shooting spree ended when the suspect fled the scene after a customer, James Shaw Jr., wrestled the rifle away from him.

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"We don't know why he went into the Waffle House," police spokesman Aaron said. Asked about whether the suspect, who is white, had targeted the victims, who were all minorities, because of their race, he said he did not know.

Previous run-ins with police

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US Secret Service detained the man in 2017 after he tried to enter a restricted area of the White House. Police subsequently seized his weapons, including the AR-15 used in the Sunday shooting, and revoked his gun license.

Police said they handed the weapons over to the suspect's father who, despite promising to keep them locked up, later returned them to his son.

The Waffle House killings were the latest high-profile mass shooting to afflict the United States. Country-wide protests in favor of stricter gun laws erupted after a former student killed 17 people with an AR-15 at a Florida high school in February.

Read more: Gun control activists rally as Trump promises minor reform

amp/se (AP, Reuters)

Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.

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