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Earlier today, a lone gunman — described as Mexican-born with a “valid U.S. passport” — barreled into a shopping mall parking lot, stormed an IHOP, and marched to the back where a table full of uniformed Nevada National Guardsmen were dining. The Guard’s headquarters are about four miles from the restaurant.
Eduardo Sencio shot nine people, killed three people total including 2 Guardsmen, and then turned his AK-47 to his and committed suicide.
On the back of the minivan he borrowed from his brother? A yellow “Support Our Troops” sticker.
The gunman’s family members say he was mentally disturbed:
Five Nevada National Guard troops sitting together at the back of the restaurant were shot _ two 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.
Witnesses and authorities described a frantic scene, 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.
…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. Two of the three wounded guard members were women. 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.”
It certainly looks and smells like an intentional hit on our military. I’ll update as info comes in.
Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath for all the civility police to ask whether incessant anti-military rhetoric — hello, Soulja Boy — has created a climate of hate endangering our troops. Remember: Only conservative speech — Blame Righty!— can be held responsible for inciting violence.
Update 12:25am : A third National Guard member has died at the hospital. R.I.P.