CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A gunman with a rifle opened fire at an IHOP restaurant in Nevada’s capital on Tuesday, wounding six people and himself and killing two uniformed National Guardsmen in a hail of gunfire during the morning breakfast hour, authorities and witnesses said.
A third person was killed in addition to the servicemembers, and the gunman was not expected to survive, said Carson City Sheriff Kenny Furlong.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the gunman had any connection with the military or the guard, said Nevada National Guard Sgt. Mike Getten. He said guard members were meeting at the restaurant.
Witnesses said a man pulled up in a blue minivan around 9 a.m. at the IHOP restaurant in a strip mall on Carson City’s main street. He shot a man on a motorcycle, then walked inside the restaurant and started shooting, said Ralph Swagler, owner of Locals Barbecue in the same strip mall as the IHOP.
Swagler told the Reno Gazette-Journal that after several minutes, the man walked outside and began firing into the Locals Barbecue and an H&R Block in the strip mall.
“This happens in third-world countries, not here,” Swagler said.
Fran Hunter, who works at a Sierra Le Bone, a pet shop just north of the IHOP, told the newspaper that the suspect fired at least two shots toward Casino Fandango across the street.
“I don’t know what’s happening to my city,” Hunter said. “This happens in L.A. or Las Vegas but not here.”
Local and state police and FBI agents descended on the scene, and yellow tape surrounded the parking lot at the restaurant, which is near a Kohl’s department store.
Renown Regional Medicare Center spokesman Dan Davis told The Associated Press four victims of the shooting were being treated at the hospital in Reno, but he said he could not discuss their condition or provide any other information.
Kurt Althof, public relations manager for Care Flight, told the Gazette-Journal three victims had been taken to the hospital by helicopter and that two were in critical condition.
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen says extra security measures have been put in place on state and military buildings in northern Nevada as a safety precaution.