Carson City, Sept 7: A man opened fire at an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday, killing three people and wounding at least eight others before fatally shooting himself, police said.
Two of those killed and three of the wounded at the pancake house on the city’s main thoroughfare were uniformed Nevada National Guard members, police and the National Guard said.
Also killed was a civilian woman, whose name and age were not immediately released.
The shooting suspect, identified as Eduardo Sencion, 32, initially survived his self-inflicted gunshot wound but later died at a hospital, police said.
Carson City Sheriff’s Commander Jack Freer said investigators had not yet determined a motive for the shooting or if the gunman had targeted anyone in particular.
He said investigators had not yet determined a motive for the shooting or if the gunman, who was not named by authorities, had targeted anyone in particular.
Several of the wounded underwent surgery at two hospitals. There were no further details available on their condition.
Nevada National Guard spokeswoman Major April Conway said the Guard members were on active duty and had been eating at the IHOP, which is part of the International House of Pancakes group owned by DineEquity Inc.
Freer said officers responding to reports of a man with a gun at about 9 a.m. found victims shot in the parking lot of the restaurant. More victims were discovered inside, he said.
“The suspect was found down with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Freer said.
Ralph Swagler, owner of the Locals Barbecue shop in the same strip mall as the IHOP, told the Reno Gazette Journal newspaper that he saw a man wearing a red shirt and black shorts pull up outside the IHOP in a blue minivan.
Swagler said the man, armed with a rifle, shot and killed a man on a motorcycle, then walked inside the IHOP and opened fire.
Swagler said the man spent several minutes there, then walked back outside into the parking lot and began firing into the Locals Barbecue and an H&R Block in the strip mall.
“We just heard basically a string of gunshots, probably five to seven back to back ... and then there was probably (a) 30 second delay, then an automatic weapon fired, probably 20 to 30 shots,” said Gary Gamba, general sales manager at Michael Hohl Motors, located across the street from the IHOP.
Gamba said smoke could be seen from the weapons and several minutes later police and ambulances began to arrive.
Fran Hunter, who works at Sierra Le Bone, a pet shop near the IHOP, was having breakfast at Casino Fandango across the street when the shooting occurred, and was so shaken she returned to her business and locked the doors.
“I thought, if I don’t recognize anyone, I’m not opening the doors,” Hunter, 64, said. “I can’t believe this is happening here ... You read about this happening in big cities, but not in our little town.”
Nevada Senator Harry Reid issued a statement saying he was “deeply saddened” by the shooting.
“I applaud the first responders for their professionalism and my thoughts are with the victims and their families during this difficult time,” Reid said.