CARSON CITY, NV - It is one of the most devastating crimes to occur in the Capital City. Two years ago Friday, four people died after a gunman entered the IHOP in Carson City and began shooting. Nine people were injured; three of the victims were members of the Nevada Army National Guard. Early Friday morning, to honor their colleagues, members of the guard ran and walked a 5-kilometer route from the restaurant to the guard headquarters.
“What a symbolic awesome thing to talk about that the friends and family members we lost that day; we are going to carry them home. Today we are going to carry them home where we knew them as friends, co-workers and family,” said Chaplain Captain Todd Brown with the Nevada Army Guard.
He was talking to his fellow guardsmen and others meeting in a parking lot on South Carson Street.
They were there at the IHOP parking lot before most of us were up Friday morning.
With their running shoes on, they were ready to make their way from there to their post about three miles down the road.
This spot is an uncomfortable and melancholy place for some, in particular Sergeant Jeremiah Mock, who was shot in the arm here exactly two years ago by a gunman with an assault rifle.
“I knew Colonel Kelly for a few years since I joined the National Guard in 2007. And so I knew him the longest,” said Sergeant Mock.
Colonel Heath Kelly, along with Sergeant Christian Reige, Sergeant Miranda Mcelhiney and civilian Florence Gunderson, were all killed by Eduardo Sencion as they ate at the restaurant that morning.
Sencion would later take his life next to his car in the parking lot.
The IHOP was a popular place for the guard, and on that day they gathered for an informal meeting.
“It was break time and we all turned on the news and it came across the news and we were just sitting in the break room awed by what was happening up here and we were only a few miles away,” said Captain Laura Boldery, who worked with Colonel Kelly and Sergeant Reige.
Two years later Captain Boldery has gotten into 5-K runs, and decided about four months ago, why not run in honor of her fallen colleagues?
“Remember that it is still dawn out. There are a lot of drivers out there,” said Bouldery during a safety meeting just before the run began.
Down the streets of Carson City they ran, some faster than others, as Carson City deputies cleared the way, a city fire engine truck kept pace.
Eerily quiet you could hear the deep breaths of runners as they tried to keep up.
At the gate they received encouragement, congratulations, and hugs.
“I haven't run that far since Afghanistan,” said Mock at the finish line.
“No I feel pretty good.” he continued.
In all about 50 people ran and walked on Friday, most were from the guard both current and retired, but some Carson City firemen also Carson City deputies also participated.
They hope to make it an annual event.