In addition to killing five, Tuesday's attack by lone gunman Sencion, aka Eduardo Perez Gonzalez, left seven injured. Officials released the victims' names Wednesday as the search for a motive -- and a time of grieving -- continued.
"This is unquestionably the most devastating attack in Carson City's history," Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong said. "Yesterday our town was shocked to the core."
The dead included three Nevada National Guard members -- the same number of Nevada Guardsmen who have died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They were Sgt. 1st Class Christian Riege, 38, of Carson City; Major Heath Kelly, 35, of Reno; and Sgt. 1st Class Miranda McElhiney, 31, of Reno.
Also killed was Florence Donovan-Gunderson, 67, of South Lake Tahoe. Donovan-Gunderson was married to a retired U.S. Marine Corp member.
At a news conference Wednesday, Brig. Gen. William R. Burks described the slain National Guard members as dedicated and active in their fields.
He said Kelly was a decorated officer and avid student of military history who was known for his dry sense of humor.
Kelly was married with two kids, and served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005. He was deployed while on active duty with the Army, not as a member of the Nevada National Guard.
Kelly was a field artillery officer in the Army for seven years before joining the Guard about six years ago, according to the Nevada National Guard's quarterly magazine, Battle Born. The magazine said Kelly led about 140 soldiers at the Nevada National Guard's joint force headquarters in Carson City after being promoted to commander in August 2009.
Burks said Riege was a fitness buff and father of three who had also been in the Navy. Riege's military occupation was armor crewman, and he served in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.
McElhiney was an administrative sergeant who had been in the Guard for 13 years. She served soldiers in the medical, dental and human resources fields.
McElhiney also had a side business making cakes and cupcakes and would always bring goodies when people got a promotion, officials said.
Burks said Guardsmen overseas are grieving the service members' loss, and were being told to maintain focus.
Gunman Eduardo Sencion
The rampage started just before 9 a.m. Tuesday, when Sencion stepped onto the pancake house parking lot from his blue minivan with a yellow "Support Our Troops" sticker on it.
He immediately shot a woman near a motorcycle before charging into the chain restaurant. Witnesses said he had unloaded a magazine when he was still less than 12 feet from his vehicle.
Inside the IHOP, Sencion marched toward a table of uniformed National Guard members before shooting each one, and fatally wounding three of them, authorities said.
On the 911 tapes, callers describe seeing a man wearing a red shirt and black pants. Many are crying as dispatchers frantically try to gather information on where the shooter went.
"In the IHOP! In the IHOP!" one caller yells. "Now he's coming back out with a gun shooting people in the parking lot!"
Seven people were wounded in the attack. Their names have not been released, but Furlong said Wednesday their injuries range from severe to extremely life-threatening.
"Our hearts ache for all the victims of this senseless act of violence," IHOP Restaurants President Jean Birch wrote on Facebook after coming to town in the aftermath of the breakfast-time massacre. "The people of Carson City have also shown incredible support for the victims and IHOP's team members."
The shooting happened roughly two miles from the state Capitol. Lawmakers, business owners and law enforcement officials in this close-knit, government-driven city of 50,000 struggled to understand what drove Sencion to turn an AK-47 assault rifle on his hometown.
"It's unprecedented in Carson City history," said Guy Rocha, retired Nevada state archivist. "People who live in Carson City have come from other places to get away from the large urban madness. ... It finally came to Carson City.
Furlong said Wednesday authorities were still trying to determine a motive and it remained unclear whether Sencion was targeting people in the military. Mark Furhman, a well-known former homicide detective, believes that the military were, indeed, targeted.
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