National Guard Members Gunned Down In Carson City IHOP Shooting

CARSON CITY, Nev. (CBS/AP) – A gunman wielding an AK-47 opened fire on a table of uniformed National Guard members at an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday in an outburst of violence that killed five people, wounded seven others and put Nevada’s capital city on high alert.

Five Nevada National Guard troops sitting together at the back of the restaurant were shot—three of them fatally. Another woman was also killed, and the gunman, 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion of Carson City, shot himself in the head and died at a hospital.

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.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

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 a 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 the three Guard members who were killed, were not immediately released.

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

Eduardo Sencion, Nevada National Guard shooting, Carson City

Eduardo Sencion (Nevada DMV)

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 business 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.

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 said 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 CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Doug Sovern
  • bob

    Another example why we need every good citizen to be armed.

    • Kristy

      Another example why we need every citizen NOT to be armed.

      • MayfaireOquinn

        Jan – you’re an ignorant, disgusting fool.

        Here’s an explanation of the 1st Amendment for you – you have the right to say any filthy, trashy, disturbing and/or stupid thing that you want, and Don has the right to call you on it. He cannot infringe on your right to free speech unless he’s a governmental representative doing so, and not even then unless he’s making laws to stop you.

        You’re welcome.

      • kim

        If citizens didn’t have guns then we would not be speaking English today.

      • Roger Craig

        To True….

      • Jan

        @Don … Since you like repressing people’s first amendment rights you and the mentally deficient Kristy should get along fine. You’re just another control freak on a power trip telling people what to say. Go have carnal relations with yourself.

      • Don

        @Jan…ummm…I’m a carrier and do not wish to ‘supress’ any rights…it’s just when those in my Tea Party group start the ugly talk, it makes me want to not come back to the next meeting. The discourse can be civil without being coarse, and it’s more effective…jump to assumptions at your own peril.

      • Roger Craig

        You all are making a mockery out of politics over Dead Americans, whether you tea Party, Republican or Democrats. You really need to look at yourselves and see what you have become….

      • Don

        @ Roger

        Assume away, dude…

      • Don

        I don’t think ugly rhetoric is called for…naive is fine, but the rape and name calling is a bit much…civility lends credibility…remember that.

      • Jan

        Kristy, when you’re being gang raped in your home for 9 hours you’ll wish you would have keep that loaded gun under the pillow, unless that’s your thing.

      • whatsuphonky

        Typical ignorant sl*t that one.

      • nuclearboy

        In Brazil, GUNS are illegal. But, criminals roam free with guns and terrorize the unarmed population.

        For some reason, crazy people and criminals don’t obey the laws. Boy, I never saw that one coming.

      • Mikey

        Explain your reasoning.
        I bet if you were in the next booth, cowering under the thin formica table, you would think differently.

      • Neal

        Came here to see the anti-gun comments, leaving satisfied. Criminals and crazies, such as the person in this news item, intent of doing harm to others will find a way to do it regardless of what you take away from everyone.

      • dave

        You sound like a real idiot , Kristy. You go ahead and take a bullet, I’ll defend my self and family.

      • Don

        If every good citizen were armed…he’d never have made it to three shots…Someone would have finished him well before that…Without a sidearm, we’re just targets since rifles are a little inconvenient to carry into an IHOP…Unless you’re on a shooting spree…don’t be naive, Kristy.

      • Weisthor

        I think it’s important to mankind that people like Kristy here not be armed. Thinning the herd and all. The rest of us need to be able to protect ourselves.

      • Jim Noble

        What you said, except exactly opposite

    • Sarcastic

      And National Guard to be double armed!

      • Pete

        Of course they were not armed. DOD doesn’t like armed troops except overseas.

      • lee

        I doubt very much the victims were armed. The military doesn’t allow soldiers to carry weapons just anywhere. They were sitting ducks for the killer. How about some pictures of the victims… it would tell us a lot.

  • smketr

    I pray for the families and do hope that the target of this man was not the two National Guardsman, for if that is so, this may be a sign of things to come as we approach the anniversary of 911.

  • animalfarm

    Maybe this guy had just attended the Hoffa/Obama rally. I wonder if the lame stream media is going to blame them for the attack the way they blamed Sarah Palin and the Tea Party for the Arizona shooting?

    • whatsuphonky

      Good call af.

  • Two were sworn to defend. « Mad Ogre

    […] again, American Soldiers were killed by a lunatic gunman. This time, two of them in an IHOP.  Sidearms and fixed bladed knives should be PART OF THE UNIFORM for ALL SERVICEMEN. Yes, it would […]

  • KITZ

    Here come the gun control “NAZI’S”

  • TypicalGuy

    I have a carry permit but almost never actually carry a concealed weapon.

    I figure that I am pretty safe because I avoid high crime areas, especially after dark.

    But when I read about tragedies such as this, I wonder if I am making the right decision…

    • Andrew P.

      You’re lucky you can even OBTAIN a CCW permit. Here in Orange County, CA, it is next to IMPOSSIBLE to obtain one, even though I have no criminal record, served 8 years Honorably in the US Army, and have been accustomed to weapon operation and safety since I was about 12 years old. If I could carry concealed, I would. You should too. While the situation in which you may be forced to draw your weapon may never present itself (and we all pray/hope/wish that it doesn’t), it’s best to be prepared.

      Read the following quotation, and substitute “Violence” anywhere you see “war”:

      “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and had no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” ~ John Stuart Mill

    • Don

      You’ll know whether you made the right decision at that moment you’re sitting in an IHOP, eating breakfast, and some doofus comes in with his $250 Chineese SKS and starts shooting…Yeah, you’ll know RIGHT THEN…Hope you make the right decision now…I carry everywhere it’s legal. I hope to never get into a gunfight, but if I do…slide, aim, squeeze (twice)…crisis:averted.

    • AverageJoe

      Ahhh. No. Carry it and keep complaining about how uncomfortable it is and pray you never have to draw it. I have been carrying concealed for 20 years and have never drawn it.

  • natb1

    Not so fast, they need to vet out this guys background, make sure he isnt one of their own, like the psyco, paranoid, cop hating, military hating, leftist, anarchist one in AZ. Sure they will report what they want to be true, a WASP that just left a bible study, or someone who expresses resentment that 50% of his income being given to someone else, or someone who sees there own childrens money stolen from them and given to special “SELF interest groups”.

    • Roger Craig

      No Vetting involved, was either crazy or a grand suicide….

  • walter12

    We demand to know who and what this killer is? Is he a Muslim, a Mexican, a black, a white nutcase, or what? We want the truth. We want to know what we are dealing with.

    • Roger Craig

      You never know might be an American. Take the race and ethnic based bias out of it…

      • Old Mean Bitter Veteran

        I bet he’s not a member of the Tea Party.

      • David Maxwell

        He has been identified as Eduardo Sencion.

      • Greg Minton

        we want to know if he came across the boarder or if he was some homegrown wack-job.

    • vk

      Yes we do! Why arn’t they telling us? What is being hidden?

  • Malcom

    I tihnk this is only the beginning, some people are being pushed to the brink with the economy and the lack of jobs and high taxes. We now have people on the left calling for civil unrest and murder of Tea partiers. And you would be dumb to think this POS president will give up his power just because of an election. He needs civil unrest so he can suspend the constitution , He needs a ‘REICHSTAT FIRE’ Any good patriot and citizen should be arming and stocking up with supplies and getting organized.. Take a look at Europe, its coming YOUR way. we give 50 BILLION dollars away in foreign welfare, to 192 countries. But yet we tell Americans we don’t have money. How about saving OUR money for us and maybe if we have some left over we can help others? just a thought

  • Andrew

    “When someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”

    The Dalai Lama, 15 May 01

  • KM

    What does Big Sis and her buddy Obama have to say about this?

  • Clif

    Sounds to me like a guy with an assault weapon and a death wish. There is pending legislation in Washington that will make ANY kind of firearm unavailable to the mentally ill or felons who can now buy them legally through paper loopholes. The legislation is intended to close these loopholes that have been existent for many years. The crazy kid that shot that Arizona congresswoman obtained his weapon through such a loophole, I think he purchased it at a gun show. If he had tried to purchase his gun at a licensed gun shop, he would have been declined the weapon. Does this legislation sound like it may be helpful?

    • Lee

      First, the Tuscon shooter was able to buy his weapon only because he was never committed to mental health care. Despite being obviously insane and dangerous. Anyone committed by a court is BANNED from purchasing firearms. Even private sales are banned and the seller can go to jail.

    • Roger Craig

      The thing is they can take them from the law abiding citizens and kill them with their own weapons….

      • Dave-o

        Highly unlikely if a CCW holder has been trained – and we have been.

        Try another anti-gun talking point.

      • Don

        @ Dave-o…Exactly right…
        @ Roger…What the heck are you smoking…I haven’t crunched the numbers myself, but I would bet my carry permit that there have been 50 instances where a carrier stopped a would-be criminal to every 1 instance where a criminal was able to “take them from the law abiding citizens and kill them with their own weapons”…Sheesh!


    • Herb

      Despite evidence that Arizona shooting suspect Jared Loughner is mentally unstable, he was never declared mentally unfit by a court, so his name did not appear in the federal background-check database used by gun sellers.

      • Nathanial Orra

        In response to Doug: I think the guy up in Ft. Bragg is a good example of a very disturbed person who fell through the cracks of the justice system. As you insinuated, many of the dangerously mentally ill are returned to society because of budget restraints, etc. And as you said, that should not happen because it almost always ends up costing a considerable amount more than a detention cell once they harm others or themselves. A similar example is health care–Congress doesn’t want to fund or help a poor person recover from an illness but almost always ends up doing it and paying triple or ten times what it would have cost had the person been cared for properly from the start.

      • Clif

        Yeah, I’m sure you’re correct about that…I think the pending law would vet these kind of individuals based on any kind of questionable history or violent tendencies.

      • Doug

        In California a 5150 legal code allows police and subsequent mental health facilities to detain a violently and mentally unstable individual for an initial period of 72 hours by order of a qualified mental health professional such as a psychiatrist.. Once a person is 5150d he/she is placed on a national database of people who may not have access to any firearm for a period of 5 years. Unfortunately the individual must exhibit violent behavior against themselves or others. This is perhaps why Loughner was not so identified. Eccentric behavior doesn’t count. He had no prior behavior warranting a detainment of this type. I’m sure it’s very similar in other states. There are dangers to such laws that the police are quite aware of, because it involves the denial of certain rights, which our constitution protects. Police are therefore very cautious with placing someone who family or friends feel might be a threat to themselves or others in such detainment.

        I’ve worked with local police departments on this issue recently, trying to get help (in one example) for someone who quite obviously needed detainment because he was sinking deeper and deeper into a mental breakdown with a known history of violent behavior (assault) while in this condition. I finally was able to convince them that he needed the help since he was not going to go voluntarily, and he had recently set his bed on fire. But we were lucky. Some families don’t know how to communicate to police the needed information about a person’s history, and so many mentally unstable people simply don’t get the help they need.

        Currently though, many MH facilities are under pressure to get 5150 status individuals released sooner than later due to MH budget cutbacks.

        Cutting mental health funding from state budgets to save money is never a good idea. Unfortunately it’s happened, and I will be saddened but not surprised if more incidents like this continue to rise because of it.

  • tngilmer

    It had to be a Democrat.

    • Roger Craig

      Sounds more like a republican to me

      • Boomer

        Roger, Roger, Roger…first you criticize someone for calling another a name…then you call someone a name.

    • wethepeople

      and a Union member who heard Hoffa’s speech declaring war on Tea Party Patriots!!

  • Andrew P.

    Hahahahahaha…. sure, j.

    One question: How much meth have you been smoking? You can also answer with how many days you have been awake or how many days you have gone without eating, or even how many open sores you have on your face and body. All acceptable answers.. All presumably also the fault of the government, right?

    I’m sorry (truly) about the loss of your Pup. But maybe it wasn’t the DEA. Maybe it was that weird substance your dog was licking up off the floor… The stuff that looked like SHARDS of GLASS…. How else can I put this…. The substance that looks… well… sort of like… TWEAK!

  • Lee

    Just another example of Hispanic on w crime. I wonder if the AK was one of the ones supplied by DOJ and BATF.

    • Marcus

      Exactly. Someone needs to investigate if the gun was acquired through the ATF “Fast and Furious” program. Wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Kristy

    Sad.. just sad. Keep your guns.. and maybe think only one full minute with your fingers calm about “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7
    Hint: You will never be the whirlwind you like to be.

  • Nathanial Orra

    Dear Wasp,

    You are delusional my friend. Now, go find yourself a Teamster’s picket line to cross. What? I didn’t think so…

  • Don

    Wettie? Ni66er?? Illegal??? Listen, I’m a Tea Party member and I’m starting to think that the “extreme right” on these comments are actually Soros funded Lefties trying to make the right look racist and ignorant…We are neither and we should call out folks like @FedUp Florida and @Wasp to restrain their rhetoric, else we assume they’re plants. Don’t be stupid…be right!

    • Nathanial Orra

      Gosh, they sound just like some of yours. Can’t spell or formulate a logical sentence. Oh yeah, also bigoted and foul-mouthed…

      Aren’t you proud?

    • Don

      @ Nathanial

      One quote…that’s all ONE QUOTE, from me, where I have been bigoted, foul-mouthed, or inable to spell or formulate a logical sentence…ONE QUOTE!

      Yeah, didn’t think so… In fact, if you could read and see beyond the foul-mouthed words “Tea Party member”, you’d see that I was calling out those who used such horrible language.

      Some days it just doesn’t seem worth it to teach the ignorant.

      • Nathanial Orra

        I was just agreeing with you on what you criticized your brethren for saying. Your spelling and quotations are brimming with acceptable grammar. The other two guys, not so much.

        Now take a deep breath and blow into a paper bag before your eyes pop out.

  • klesb

    What safer targets could you select than uniformed military personnel – you know they are unarmed. Even Major Nidal Malik Hasan knew the safest place to murder was inside a military base – as he knew that the Army doesn’t trust its own soldiers to be armed.

  • Jason

    A Liberal no doubt. See headlines, They are violent savages, beware.

  • Stan

    Hey J, I found the tin foil hat you lost. call 800-5551212 and picjk it p. Oh if they answer DEA ignore it it is my half brothers idea of a joke.

  • Mark Stockman

    The first questions that came to my mind were: 1. Where did he get the gun? 2. Was it full auto or a legal “sporterized” weapon? 3. Was the weapon one of the AKs from “Fast and Furious”? 4. Was the shooter working for the Cartels, and were the Guardsmen targeted for their work helping secure the border?

  • charley

    I find it disturbing that a foreign national, of only 32 years of age, was already sucking on the Social Security cow. What a piece of garbage.

  • jayman

    @wethepeople, I was thinking the same thing when this story broke. Hoffa Jr. speaks “Let’s take these sons of B#### out” and this guy answered the call. Let’s see if the MSM makes the same connection…NOT!

    • Lee

      Of course, if a TEA PARTY person had made the comment instead of Hoffa, and then this happened the very next day, like this…well, just imagine the feigned ‘outrage’ from the left…

  • Lee

    So a Mexican national murders two uniformed Nat’l Guard officers…and this fact is just sort of…ah…avoided in the press, when it comes to saying it directly?

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