UPDATE: Fourth Victim Dies In IHOP Shooting

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Authorities say a third National Guard member has died from injuries suffered in a rampage at a Nevada IHOP, bringing the death toll in the shooting to five, including the shooter.

Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said Tuesday night that the Guard member, a woman, died at an area hospital.

Authorities say a man with an AK-47 assault rifle shot a group of five uniformed National Guard members eating breakfast Tuesday. Two other Guard members as well as another person were killed in the hail of gunfire.

The suspect, 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion (SEN’-see-ohn) of Carson City, also shot himself in the head and later died at a hospital. Seven people were wounded in the attack in the state’s capital.

The gunman’s motive was unclear, but once inside the restaurant, Sencion shot every uniformed servicemember.

Five Nevada National Guard troops sitting together at the back of the restaurant were shot.

The shooter’s motive was unclear, but family members said he had mental issues. He had never been in the military and had no known affiliation with anyone inside the restaurant.

Witnesses and authorities described a frantic scene in the bustling business district, in which the shooter pulled into the large complex of retail stores and shops just before 9 a.m. in a blue minivan with a yellow “Support Our Troops” sticker on the back. He got out and immediately shot a woman near a motorcycle, a witness said.

Ralph Swagler said he grabbed his own weapon but said it was too late to stop the shooter, who charged into the IHOP through the front doors.

“I wish I had shot at him when 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.”

The gunman went all the way to the back of the restaurant to the back area and opened fire, Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said.

When he left the restaurant, he stood in the parking lot and shot into the nearby businesses, shattering the windows of the barbecue restaurant and an H&R Block and a casino across the street.

Officers arrived minutes later and found the suspect and the person who was by the motorcycle wounded and lying in the parking lot. The names of the victims, including two male Guard members who were killed, were not immediately released.

Sencion left two more guns in the van — a rifle and a pistol, authorities said.

As the attack unfolded, Nevada officials 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,” Furlong said. “At this point in time it appears to be isolated to this parking lot.”

Reno-based FBI special agent Michael West said there was no indication of any terrorist plot.

As police interviewed dozens of witnesses after the shooting and kept the gathering crowd of media at bay, a body lay on the ground, covered with a white sheet except for the feet, clad in tan boots.

Sencion was born in Mexico and had a valid U.S. passport. In interviews with investigators after the shooting, his family raised concerns about his mental health, Furlong said.

Sencion worked at his family’s store, Mi Pueblo Market, in South Lake Tahoe and had no criminal history. The minivan he drove to the shooting was registered to his brother.

The shooting shocked some who knew him, including Joe Laub, his lawyer in a bankruptcy filing in January 2009, who called it an “aberration of his character.”

“He’s a gentle, kind man who was very helpful to friends and family,” Laub told The Associated Press. “I couldn’t venture to guess what would cause him to do something as horrible as this.”

In the bankruptcy filing, Sencion listed more than $42,000 in outstanding debts for a car, several credit cards and some medical expenses. At the time, Sencion reported having $200 spread over three bank accounts and $923 in disability income, mostly from Social Security.

At a Reno hospital, service members gathered, waiting for word on those killed and hurt. A hospital spokesman said four shooting victims were being treated there, but wouldn’t discuss their conditions or provide any other information. Two of the three wounded guard members were women. Authorities provided few details about the five other injured people, except to say one was a woman who was found near a motorcycle. Three of those wounded have minor wounds; the others were shot in critical areas of the body, Furlong said.

“You go a whole tour in Afghanistan and no one is shot. And you go to IHOP and several are shot,” said 31-year-old Sgt. First Class Cameron Anderson of Reno, a Nevada Army National Guard member. “It’s a shock. I came to work today and had no idea I’d be driving the chaplain here (to the hospital.)”

Another Guard member, 33-year-old Spc. Lee Amato, said he didn’t know the victims’ names but expected they were people he knew.

“It’s hard to believe something like this would happen to really good people,” Amato said. “It’s like a hole, something taken away. It’s mind-boggling and hard to comprehend.”

The IHOP is about four miles from the Guard’s headquarters complex. Nevada National Guard spokeswoman April Conway said she didn’t know why the five Guard members had met at the IHOP. Conway said she did not believe any of the Guard members at the restaurant were armed.

“Our guards would have no reason to be carrying military weapons here today,” Conway said. “We have no reason to believe that any of them were armed with personal weapons.”

Furlong says they’re analyzing the shooter’s weapon to determine whether it is automatic or semi-automatic.

Nevada’s capital city of some 50,000 is normally a sleepy town when lawmakers are not in session, a jumping off point 30 miles south of Reno for travelers headed to Lake Tahoe or back to California across the Sierra.

“I’ve lived in Carson City since 1961 and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Fran Hunter, who works at the Sierra Le Bone pet shop just north of the IHOP. “This is the kind of thing that happens in New York City or L.A., not here.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Rusty says:

    Why bother taking this psychopath to the hospital? Let him suffer and die on the street.

  2. rickey says:

    The statement, “This happens in third-world countries, not here,” from Swagler is a perfect example of the isolationism and xenophobia which infects Carson City as a whole. I know I lived there for a year when I was a kid. The city is full of very racist rich white xenophobes who place themselves above the rest of the nation and even other lower income whites socially.

    Yeah, things like this only happen in LA, Las Vegas, or third world counties…..
    However, I am amazed he did not just come out and say it’s because of all the black and brown people moving in here.

  3. Bob says:

    This gunman sounds like an illegal alien that identified the guardsmen as border security types. Secure the borders and round up these illegal law breakers and deport them all. This xenophobic nonsense needs to stop. No one is against legal immigrants, just illegal alien law breaking trash…

  4. Vicki Morin says:

    Mexicans have a plan to attack from within in the next 5 years.National Guard also does drug interdictions in our national parks for marijuana .Makes one wonder what was the shooter’s motivation.So sad and so unnecessary.RIP and condolences to the families and their unit.

  5. Vicki Morin says:

    @kelly65,that is a racist attitude.Why would anyone post such an off comment or opinion? It makes no sense to post such ideas.We all grow old ,we all suffer,and it makes no difference what race a person is.Now,those who wish this on anyone,what does the comment accomplish? No one is superior by race or nationality.

  6. @Vicki Morin says:

    Look at Haiti, Africa and Mexico. All are 3rd world dumps. Europeans invented electricity, internal combustion motors, modern medicine and the list goes on and on and on. What did mexicans and africans invent other than crime and poverty.

    1. Vicki Morin says:

      My question is why did you post what someone else had an opinion on? Do you agree or disagree with the statement?Your post suggests a support for this idea.While it is true that the hispanic race is gaining in population,that doesn’t mean it’s going to overtake other races My question about the shooter is what was his motive?I’m from a military family and it shocks me that anyone would want to harm our military who are there 24/7/365 to protect everyone’s rights.If they’re at war,they can defend themselves.But,because maybe one person may have had a personal grudge against the NG leaves me asking”What was the agenda?”.Was the shooter there to make a political statement by killing Americans and National Guard troops,or was he just psycho?We’re having problems with Mexico and the illegal immigration issue.What was the shooter’s goal?

    2. REV.C.F says:

      thisvickimorin,dontknowthehistoryofblackafricanintheu.s.a i am aveteranof thekorean war if the K.K.K>LIKE YOR FAMILY WOULD FIND OUT YOU BROUGHT US FROM AFRICA IN CHAINS AND IN THE SECOND WAR IF IT WASNT FOR US YOU WOULDNT HAVE ANY FOOD ON YOUR TABLES SO DONT YOU RUN YOUR BIGOT MOUTH ABOUT BLACK WE DIDNT JUMP OVER THE WALLS WE WERE DREDGES OVER THEM WALL SO IT DOGS LIKE YOU WHO MAKE THE WORLD ABAD PLACE TO LIVE .REV.C.F.THATALLTHE NAME APES LIKE YOU NEEDTOKNOW.

  7. rmcsticks says:

    just another POS gone bad….something was wrong with him and I think his family knew it ….

  8. rmcsticks says:

    kelly65 your a freak

  9. Vicki Morin says:

    Apparently,from the reports I’m getting from our news station,he was mentally ill.That’s still leaving some questions over WHY he did it.In the state of California,which he was a resident of,people with mental illness are not allowed to possess guns or anything that can hurt themselves or anyone else.He was schizophrenic(2 or more personalities) and he did live on the California side of Lake Tahoe.But what was he doing with all those guns? Delusions of grandeur?I think he may have been on some hallucinogenics and may have percieved a coming war to the United States perpetrated by some drug gangs.National Guard assissts in some investigations and drug interdiction.Maybe it was the uniforms.In an interview with his family,they were completely without emotions when they asked them if they knew he was planning to do this.I say they knew but aren’t saying and they knew he was mentally ill….go figure? Just a hypothesis.

  10. CURTISFITCH says:

    ITOLDSTATEMENTSLIKEYOUTALKABOUTBLACKAMERICAN THATPUTUS INTHE TROUBLE WITH HTE WORLD AS A WHOLEEVERY TIME I HEAR A AMERICAN TALK ABOUT LIBERAL OR CONVERSATE ITMAKE ME SICK TOTHINK THAT THEMORMON WITH18CHILDRENOR MORE AND I AM ABLACK AMERICAN HAVE TO SUPPORT APERSON LIKE YOU AND THA K.K.K. CLAN JOINTHE SERVIE AND GREW UP ON THE BATTLE,YOUAND THE TEA PARTY SHOLD BE ASHAME TOBRING DOWN THE MOST WONDERFUL COUNTRY WE BLACKS DIED WELL.REV.CF

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