Police is investigating the shooting rampage at an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nevada.
The incident happened on Tuesday morning and left four people dead, including the shooter, and eight persons wounded.
Investigators are now trying to determine whether the man targeted a group of National Guard personnel in the restaurant.
Twelve people have been shot in the rampage, five were National Guard members who were sitting together, all in uniform, in the back of the restaurant. Two of the service members – a man and a woman – died, according to police.
According to the investigators it appears the shooter – Eduardo Sencion, 33, a Carson City resident who worked in nearby Tahoe and had no criminal history – could have targeted the Guard members, who were sitting in the restaurant and they were in uniform.
Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said during a news conference last evening:
“Information suggests at this point in time that the National Guard members were sitting all the way into the restaurant along the southeast side and that he entered through the front do ors and traveled all the way through the restaurant to the back area,” sheriff Furlong said.
“Obviously when five out of 11 of the victims are uniformed National Guard members, that’s taking a priority interest in our agency.”
“Investigators are still trying to determine what motive there might have been for the shooting rampage.”
“There has been some suggestion by his family members that there is some mental health issues that we are going to have to look into,” the sheriff added.
Eduardo Sencion allegedly walked into the restaurant shortly before 9 a.m. brandishing an AK47 and started shooting, then ended it by shooting himself in the head, police said.
The shooter was taken to a hospital where he died three hours later.
According to the Carson City Chief Deputy Jack Freer, the people wounded at the IHOP were taken to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno and a hospital in Carson City, but their conditions were unknown.
Eyewitnesses described a scene of horror and chaos after Eduardo Sencion pulled up at the IHOP in a blue minivan just before 9 a.m. and ran into the restaurant, already firing his assault weapon.
“All I heard was about a heavy eight seconds of automatic gunfire,” said Nick Teply, who was at the McDonald’s drive-through next door.
“I just froze trying to identify which direction it was coming from.
“I saw people running into the casino and I saw people panicked so I panicked.
“I heard another burst go off and then I was, it was, ‘get the hell out of there.’”
According to the Carson City sheriff, at least 11 agencies, both federal and state, worked the crime scene.