The normally quiet capital city of Carson City, Nevada, was shattered by gunfire on this morning, September 6, 2011. The act of violence came days before the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks and it has shaken the entire community and state of Nevada. The investigation is ongoing even as families mourn this devastating incident of intentional harm to Nevadans.
A gunman with an AK-47 assault rifle walked into a Nevada IHOP restaurant around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning and started a shooting rampage. The man, later identified as 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion of Carson City, shot at a group of five uniformed National Guard members. Two of guardsmen were shot and killed along with another restaurant patron. Eight other people were wounded during the attack including a woman who was shot outside the restaurant just before the attack began. The gunman continued shooting after he walked out of the IHOP at other nearby businesses. He later shot and killed himself.
Authorities, fearing that the violence could spread to other places around Nevada’s capital, chose to lock down the Supreme Court and capitol buildings. As an extra safety precaution, more security measures were taken at other Nevada military and state offices and buildings including all 17 of the National Guard bases located in Nevada.
There is now an active investigation as to why the suspect went on a rampage. Authorities currently cannot cite a clear motive to what led to the shooting, especially as to why the gunman may have targeted the group of National Guard members. The man’s family indicated during initial discussions with police that Sencion has a history of mental illness but that nothing in his behavior indicated drastic actions in the immediate future. Nevada’s Governor, Brian Sandoval, has ordered that all flags around the state been flown at half-staff to honor the two National Guardsmen who were killed.
As Carson City and the state of Nevada begins to deal with this tragedy, our condolences go out to loved ones of those who were injured or killed in this tragic event. Several factors distinguish this incident from other violent episodes in Nevada history and as such they color the legal aftermath in different ways. Unlike the vehicular assault case of Priscilla Ford, the assailant in this case is now dead and as such wrongful death lawsuits are less likely unless details emerge that point to negligence on the part of Sencion’s family. And although several Nevadans suffered Nevada personal injuries, it is unclear against whom they would bring a civil lawsuit. So often our questions outpace the number of things we know, and this case seems no different. If you have legal questions for a Nevada personal injury lawyer, you can contact us for a free consultation in one of our Nevada offices.
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