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Lawmakers hail man who disarmed US shooter

A man is in custody after four people were shot dead at a Nashville Waffle House restaurant.The man who snatched an assault rifle away from a gunman at a Nashville restaurant where four people died has told Tennessee lawmakers he faced “the true test of a man,” drawing a standing ovation.

As the House hailed him as a hero, James Shaw Junior said he acted to save his own life early on Sunday at a Waffle House, and saved others in the process.

“I never thought I’d be in a room with all the eyes on me, but you know, I’m very grateful to be here,” Shaw told House members on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old said he has since gone to see some of the shooting victims in the hospital and they all remembered him. He apologised to the people whose loved ones died in the attack.

Meanwhile, the co-owner of a Colorado crane company where shooting suspect Travis Reinking once worked says she urged federal officials to keep him in custody after he was arrested at the White House last July.

“We told them, ‘Hang onto him if you can. Help him if you can,” Darlene Sustrich said.

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said Reinking, 29, had been “compliant” and “cooperative” since he was transferred to the jail after he was captured near the apartment where he lived.

Reinking will remain under close observation at a maximum-security facility in Nashville.

Reinking has been charged with four counts of criminal homicide and also faces four counts of attempted murder and one count of unlawful possession in the commission of a violent felony.

Police say he opened fire outside the Waffle House with an AR-15 rifle then stormed the restaurant, wearing only a green jacket. Four other people were wounded in the shooting.

Reinking escaped on foot and shed his only item of clothing before he was captured in the woods nearby.

Police seized multiple items from his apartment including a Remington rifle with a magazine, cartridges, two rifle scopes and gun cleaning equipment.

When he was captured he was carrying a black backpack with a silver semi-automatic weapon and .45-calibre ammunition.

The arrest ended a 24-hour manhunt involving more than 160 law enforcement officers, but it left troubling unanswered questions about official responses to months of bizarre behaviour before the restaurant attack, including encounters with police in Illinois, Colorado and Washington DC.

Last July, Reinking was arrested by the US Secret Service after he entered a restricted area near the White House and refused to leave, saying he wanted to meet President Donald Trump.

Reinking was not armed at the time, but at the FBI’s request, Illinois police revoked his state firearms card. Four guns, including the AR-15 used in the shootings, were transferred to his father, a procedure allowed under Illinois law.

Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston said Jeffrey Reinking pledged he would “keep the weapons secure and out of the possession of Travis.”

Don Aaron, a Nashville Police spokesman, said Reinking’s father “has now acknowledged giving them back” to his son.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special Agent Marcus Watson said the father’s action was “potentially a violation of federal law.”

Australian Associated Press

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