2011 IHOP shooting

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2011 IHOP shooting
Location Carson City, Nevada, United States
Date September 6, 2011 (2011-09-06)
8:58 a.m. – 9:06 a.m.[1] (UTC-08)
Attack type
Mass shooting, murder-suicide
Weapons Norinco Mak 90 semiautomatic rifle
Deaths 5 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
7
Perpetrators Eduardo Sencion
Motive Unknown[2]

On September 6, 2011, a gunman, identified as 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion,[3] opened fire in a branch of the International House of Pancakes restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, killing four people, including three members of the National Guard, and wounding seven others.

The shooting[edit]

At 8:58 a.m., Sencion arrived at a local strip mall in a blue minivan that was registered in his brother's name.[4] He got out, shot, and wounded a woman on a motorcycle with a Norinco Mak 90 semiautomatic rifle.[5][6] At around 9:00 a.m. he walked inside the center's IHOP restaurant and made his way to the back where he started shooting. He first targeted a group of uniformed National Guardsmen, all of whom were eating at the same table; five of them were shot, three of them fatally. He then targeted other patrons of the restaurant, killing a 67-year-old woman.

Sencion then left the restaurant and began shooting into three nearby businesses, injuring no one.[7][8] During the incident, Ralph Swagler, who owned a neighboring restaurant, grabbed his own gun with the intention of shooting Sencion, but was unable to do so due to the rapid gunfire. Police arrived at 9:06 a.m., in response to which Sencion shot and wounded himself in the head, later dying at a hospital. Police would later find a Romarm Cugir rifle and a Glock 26 semiautomatic pistol in his van outside the restaurant. Due to the severity of the attack and fears that it would become more widespread, Nevada officials declared a lock-down on the state capitol and Supreme Court buildings for around 40 minutes, while extra security was set up at state and military buildings in northern Nevada.[4][9][10]

Victims[edit]

A total of five people, including the gunman, were killed in the shooting. They were identified as:

  • Florence Donovan-Gunderson, 67
  • Nevada National Guard Major Heath Kelly, 35
  • Nevada National Guard Sgt 1st Class Miranda McElhiney, 31
  • Nevada National Guard Sgt 1st Class Christian Riege, 38
  • Eduardo Sencion, 32 (the shooter)

Florence Donovan-Gunderson, Nevada National Guard Major Heath Kelly, and Nevada National Guard Sgt 1st Class Christian Riege were all declared dead at the scene, while Nevada National Guard Sgt 1st Class Miranda McElhiney later died at a local hospital. About three hours after the attack, shooter Eduardo Sencion died at Noah J. Medical Center from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.[5][11]

Seven other people survived the shooting with injuries, all of them caused by gunshot wounds. Four were taken to the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, three by helicopter, while the remaining three went to another hospital in Carson City to undergo surgery.[7][8][11] Four of the wounded were in critical condition, while the remaining three suffered minor wounds. Two of the surviving victims were members of the National Guard.[4]

The perpetrator[edit]

Eduardo Sencion
Eduardo Sencion.jpg
Eduardo Sencion
Born July 22, 1979
Mexico
Died September 6, 2011(2011-09-06) (aged 32)
Reno, Nevada[5]
Cause of death
Suicide by gunshot wound
Nationality Mexican-American
Motive Unknown

Eduardo Sencion (also known as Eduardo Perez-Gonzalez; July 22, 1979 – September 6, 2011) was born in Mexico and had a valid U.S. passport. He had no previous criminal history and worked at his family's business located in South Lake Tahoe.[4][12] Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was eighteen years old, Sencion, according to toxicology reports, had no traces of antipsychotic drugs in his body on the day of the shooting. In January 2009, he filed for bankruptcy, listing more than $42,000 in outstanding debts for a car, several credit cards, and medical expenses.[4] His motive for the attack currently remains unknown by law-enforcement officials, though there was no indication that it was a terrorist attack, and that he had no known connection to the military, nor motivation for shooting the National Guardsmen.[2][4][5][13]

Reaction[edit]

After the shooting, Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued a statement, saying, "I'm deeply saddened by this senseless act and extend my sympathies to those afflicted this morning. I applaud the first responders for their professionalism, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time."[7] Nevada U.S. Representative Joe Heck and Nevada Senator Ben Kieckhefer also expressed their condolences on Twitter.[8] Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said in a written statement, "The [Carson City] mayor and I ... want to assure all Nevadans and especially residents of Carson City that everything is being done to ensure the public's safety." Sandoval also ordered flags flown at half-staff until Friday at dusk in honor of the slain National Guardsmen.[7]

References[edit]