One of the victims from Nashville Waffle House shooting was from Austin area
The man accused of killing four people at a Nashville-area Waffle House is now in custody. 29-year-old Travis Reinking's arrest capped a day-long manhunt.
Police say he unloaded an assault-style rifle at the restaurant early Sunday morning. He shot two people outside the restaurant and continued his rampage inside. He ran off after a customer wrestled his gun away.
Reinking's motive remains unclear. Last summer, Reinking was arrested by the Secret Service for trespassing near the White House.
One of the victims, 20-year-old Joe Perez, grew up in the Austin area. He moved to Nashville in November for work.
Selena Sauceda is Perez's cousin, and still cannot believe Joey - which is the name she says everyone called him - is no longer here.
"She said, 'They killed your cousin this morning. He's gone.' And I didn't believe her, and was like, 'what do you mean?'" Sauceda said.
Sauceda says the family is heartbroken.
"He's not here in person to tell me when I'm sad about things, when I'm hurt about things. He's actually really gone," said Carlos Sauceda, who is also Perez's cousin.
Perez went to school in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. He was a student at Lehman High School and Hays High School his freshman and sophomore years, according to the district.
In a statement, the HCISD said it is mourning Perez's death:
Anytime a senseless act of violence occurs, it affects us all. The closer we are to the tragedy, the more we appreciate how precious life is. This most recent shooting happened some 900 miles away, but with the news that one of our own school district family members was affected; it may as well have happened on our front doorstep. We will keep the Perez family in our thoughts and prayers.
His uncle, JoJo Sauceda, told CBS Austin that Perez was full of life, very family-oriented, and passionate.
"You could never take a smile away from him," said Sauceda. "Even in bad situations, he was always happy. It just kills me inside knowing that he is gone."
Sauceda said when he got the call yesterday morning that his nephew was one of the fatal shooting victims, he didn't want to believe it.
"It was gut-wrenching," said Sauceda. "It was heart breaking. I literally just wanted to fall to the floor."
According to Sauceda, Perez recently moved to Nashville to be near his brother and begin a new job. He said Perez wanted to begin a new chapter of his life, and had plans to buy his own home and a new car.
Selena Sauceda says Perez was more than just a family member.
"I just, I broke down. That was like my other half. Nobody understood me the way he did. He was my only best friend," Sauceda said.
Sauceda said he is frustrated that his nephew died in such a senseless way and hopes more will be done to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people. He also has a message for his nephew's killer.
"You need to spend the rest of your life knowing what you did," said Sauceda. "You took away from four different families someone they are never going to get back. It's going to be a hole we're never going to fill at all. "
And while Sauceda said he hopes no one else has to go through the pain his family is currently going through, he does hope everyone can learn something from it.
"Make sure you tell your family you love them and everything, because you never know when you will be able to tell them again," said Sauceda.
The family has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for Perez's body to be brought back to Austin, as well as help with funeral expenses.