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Remembering The Victims Of The Waffle House Shooting

The victims, all of color, were under 30-years-old. 

The victims of the Waffle House shooting in Tennessee were all young creatives with unmeasurable potential. Shortly after their names were released to the public Sunday (April 22), tributes began pouring in for Taurean C. Sanderlin, Joe Perez, Akilah Dasilva and DeEbony Groves.

The victims, all of color, were shot and killed by Travis Reinking. The 29-year-old pulled into the parking lot of the Waffle House in Antioch. Amid the shooting, customer James Shaw Jr. was able to tackle Reinking to the ground, disarming him so that Reinking could no longer shoot. But at that time, Reinking escaped. The suspect has since become the target of a manhunt and added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's top 10 most-wanted list. Police say that the suspect may have issues related to mental health.

Long before he was the “Waffle House Killer,” Reinking had been building quite a rap sheet. Last July, the 29-year-old spoke with an officer of the Secret Service at the White House and said, with urgency, that he needed to meet with and speak with the president. He told the officer that it was his right as a “sovereign citizen,” then proceeded to enter the building. “Arrest me if you have to,” he declared.

Last August, the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office removed four firearms from Reinking’s apartment after he requested to file a report. He told officers that Taylor Swift had been stalking him and that his devices were being tapped, CNN reports. Worried about his mental state, they removed his guns and released them into the custody of his father, who police are now saying may have returned his guns to him. They reportedly only permitted him to take the guns on the condition that he would “keep the weapons secure and out of the possession of Travis.”

Reinking moved to Nashville last fall, according to the Tribune He allegedly had no clear motive on Sunday morning, he just opened fire. Luckily Shaw, Jr got to Reinking before he could kill anyone else but Tennessee, family, and friends of the victims mourn for them. Those who knew the victims recall their pursuits and character.


Taurean C. Sanderlin, 29

Sanderlin of Goodlettsville worked as a cook at the restaurant and was killed outside of it. CEO, Walt Ehmer told reporters Sanderlin was a cook for the company for five years. He was new to the Murfreesboro Pike location, which had only been open for five months.

Joe Perez, 20

Perez was killed outside, after Sanderlin. The Nashville resident’s family is in Texas. Following the shooting, Perez’s mother posted to Facebook, saying “Me, my husband and sons are broken right now with this loss. Our lives are shattered.” The Austin native was working as a subcontractor for Daryl Flood Relocation & Logistics.


DeEbony Groves, 21

Groves is remembered as a “brilliant young woman.” The young woman from Gallatin was recognized as a star athlete when she attended Gallatin High School. At her most recent school, Belmont University, Groves was on the dean’s list.

Her high school basketball coach Kim Kendrick said of Groves that she was a “very, very likable young lady. She was one of three seniors on her team, and she was a great role model for the other players because of her hard work and dedicated to her studies and school,” according to CBS News.

Belmont University also released a statement to WTVF-TV. "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.”

Groves was in her senior year, majoring in social work.

Akilah DaSilva, 23

DaSilva was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died. His friends remember him as multitalented, good behind the lens and an aspiring musician. DaSilva was in pursuit of a career in musical engineering at Middle Tennessee State University, Shaundelle Brooks told CBS News about her son. “He had a smile that could light up a room and a laugh that would warm your heart.” He was the videographer to know in Tennessee. He was a rap artist and a music producer, widely known as one of the most prominent emerging artists. DaSilva was with his girlfriend at the Waffle House. Shanita Waggoner was also critically wounded.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to fund Dasilva’s funeral.

At least three others were injured in the shooting including Sharita Henderson.

READ: Waffle House Shooting Leaves Four Dead In Tennessee

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The 49-year-old brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo announced in a tweet today (March 31) that he tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to people who are infected. Cuomo has extensively covered the coronavirus pandemic on the cable news network during his show titled, Cuomo Prime Time.

"Sooooo in these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus. I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath," Cuomo wrote in aTweet.


— Christopher C. Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) March 31, 2020

The New York governor said in a press conference Tuesday (March 31) that his brother "is going to be fine."

"Even for essential workers, people have to be careful. Again, I've been trying to communicate that everyone – everyone – is subject to this virus," the governor said. "This virus is the great equalizer. My brother, Chris, is positive for coronavirus. Found out this morning. Now, he is going to be fine. He's young, in good shape, strong – not as strong as he thinks – he will be fine. But there's a lesson in this. He's an essential worker, a member of the press, so he's been out there. If you go out there, the chance that you'll get infected is very high."

Cuomo says his brother “is going to be fine.”

He said he’s young and strong, but jokes not as much as he thinks.

Chris will be quarantined in his basement and worried about his kids.

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According the New York Times, Cuomo plans to continue shooting his show, Cuomo Prime Time, from his basement, where he is quarantining himself.



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The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

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Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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#PullUp @claralionelfdn ・・・ A huge thank you to JAY-Z’s @shawncartersf for joining us in giving a combined $2 million to the #MayorsFundforLA #FundforPublicSchools @aclu_nationwide & @thenyic for COVID-19 response in support of undocumented workers, children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless people in the United States.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Mar 31, 2020 at 6:41am PDT

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