Waffle House shooting trial testimony begins
Brett Johns was the first police officer to respond to the Waffle House shooting on April 22, 2018. The horrors of that gruesome scene brought tears to his eyes when he testified in court yesterday under cross-examination.
Why it matters: Johns' searing testimony set the stage for the trial of Travis Reinking, the man charged with killing four people and injuring others that day.
- "(The) extent of their injuries. The people that I dealt with inside. Conversations that I had with people that didn't make it," Johns said.
- "I think about it quite often. Yeah."
Driving the news: During opening statements, the prosecution and defense agreed Reinking, 33, was the gunman.
- Reinking pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, which requires his defense team to prove he could not understand what state law says is the "wrongfulness" of his actions.
State of play: Prosecutor Jan Norman said Reinking's actions were the result of a series of conscious choices. She described the violence as "an act of revenge done out of anger."
- Defense attorney Luke Evans said Reinking was schizophrenic, "completely untethered from reality," and driven by delusions that God was telling him to open fire at the restaurant.
What they're saying: James Shaw Jr., the Waffle House customer who charged the shooter and wrestled the gun away from him, closed an emotional first day of testimony.
- "I just ran through the door thinking it's either gonna be me or him or it's gonna be death," Shaw testified.
- Shaw said he heard Reinking refer to him using a racial slur as they both ran from the restaurant, an allegation Reinking's attorney questioned on cross-examination.
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