“Residents of a sleepy state capital say they woke up Wednesday to a small town that’s lost its innocence after a mass shooting in an IHOP restaurant that left four people and the shooter dead and injured seven others. (Sept. 7)”
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A man with an AK-47 assault rifle shot an entire group of five uniformed National Guard members eating breakfast at a Nevada IHOP on Tuesday, killing two of them and another person in a hail of gunfire.
The suspect, 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion of Carson City, also shot himself and later died at a hospital. Seven people were wounded in the attack at a strip mall near a casino and department store in the state’s capital. Authorities say the man had two guns in addition to the AK-47 he used in the rampage, but he left them in his vehicle.
Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong says Sencion was born in Mexico and was in the U.S. under a valid U.S. passport.
He says investigators found another rifle and a pistol in the minivan that Sencion drove to the restaurant.
The gunman’s motive was unclear, but once inside the restaurant, Sencion shot every uniformed service member. The two killed were men; another woman was also shot and killed.
The owner of a nearby barbecue restaurant described a frantic scene in which the gunman pulled up and immediately shot a man on a motorcycle, then charged into the IHOP, where the Guard members were meeting.
Ralph Swagler said he grabbed his own weapon, but said it was too late to stop the shooter.
“I wish I had shot at him but he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler, who owns Locals BBQ & Grill. “But when he came at me, when somebody is pointing an automatic weapon at you, you can’t believe the firepower, the kind of rounds coming out of that weapon.”
Nevada officials first worried about the violence being more widespread. They locked down the state Capitol and Supreme Court buildings for about 40 minutes, and put extra security in place at state and military buildings in northern Nevada.
“There were concerns at the onset, so we took certain steps to ensure we had the capability to embrace an even larger circumstance,” Sheriff Kenny Furlong said. “At this point in time it appears to be isolated to this parking lot.”
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