The gunman, who police have identified as 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion, got out of the van carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and immediately shot and wounded a woman who was standing near a motorcycle. Sencion then ran into a nearby International House of Pancakes restaurant. Once inside he opened fire, shooting five Nevada national guard troops who were sitting together at the back of the restaurant – three of them fatally – another woman was also killed in the hail of bullets. Sencion left the restaurant, went into in the parking lot and started shooting into nearby businesses, shattering several windows across the street. He then shot himself in the head and later died at a hospital.
Witness Ralph Swagler said he grabbed his own weapon, but it was too late to stop Sencion, who charged into the restaurant through the front doors. “I wish I had shot at him when he was going in the IHOP,” said Swagler. “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.”
Five people were killed and seven people were wounded in the attack at the strip mall. Police said that Sencion had two guns in addition to the AK-47 he used in the rampage, but he left them in his vehicle.
Sencion’s motives were unclear. He had never been in the military and had no known affiliation with anyone inside the restaurant. Sencion who was born in Mexico and had a valid U.S. passport worked at his family’s business in South Lake Tahoe and had no criminal history. When interviewed his family members said that he did suffer from mental issues.