Another mass shooting, this time in Nevada, leaves a list of unanswered questions. A gunman carrying a variant of an AK-47 entered an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada, opened fire and killed or injured eleven people – including five uniformed national guardsmen – before taking his own life outside in the parking lot.
The FBI said there was no indication of terrorism. Authorities said they had not determined a clear motive.
“To say that he was targeting before he came into the restaurant those military persons, we have not been able to establish,” said Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong. “Clearly, the fact that five of the 11 were military draws a concern by us.”
The suspected gunman was identified as Eduardo Sencion, 32, who lived in Carson City and worked at a family business in South Lake Tahoe, California, authorities said.
“There was no indication he knew anyone in the restaurant,” said Michael West, supervisory special agent with the FBI.
As of this posting, CNN is updating the story on television and saying that an additional person has died, bringing the total to four dead and seven injured. One of the survivors was a motorcycle rider who was shot before the suspect entered the restaurant where the guardsmen were having breakfast.
The New York Post is reporting that Sencion is a native of Mexico who was in the country legally with a valid passport and working near the scene of the shooting. As the sheriff pointed out, it’s still too soon to assign a motive here, but the fact that the shooter seemed to be specifically targeting servicemen in uniform will likely come into play as we learn more.
A fellow soldier of the victims weighed in:
“You go a whole tour in Afghanistan and no one is shot. And you go to IHOP and several are shot,” said Sgt. 1st Class Cameron Anderson, 31, a Nevada Army National Guard member who rushed to the hospital.
“It’s a shock. I came to work today and had no idea I’d be driving the chaplain here.”
One other initial report indicated that Sencion arrived in a blue mini-van with a yellow “support our troops” sticker on it, which certainly looked ironic. However, the follow-up indicated that the van belongs to the shooter’s brother.