A month after a gunman went on a deadly rampage at a Carson City IHOP, residents are split over what to do with the restaurant.
While some want the diner to re-open at the same site, others want it moved elsewhere in town. Another suggestion was to tear the building down and make it a memorial.
Eduardo Sencion fired 60 rounds from an assault rifle at the IHOP on Sept. 6, killing four people and injuring seven others before killing himself. Three of those killed were members of the Nevada National Guard.
Ron Kendall of Carson City said he's trying to rally support to re-open the restaurant at the same location. He said he spoke with IHOP regional manager Peter Kouis last week, and Kouis indicated a decision on the building's fate was pending.
IHOP spokeswoman Rhonda Barnat declined to say whether any
decision has been made on the fate of the closed restaurant.
"Right now we are focused on the needs of our employees and our
guests," she said.
Kevin Carrick, who was in the restaurant at the time of the shooting, said it would it would be a mistake for IHOP to re-open at the site. He has urged Kouis to consider re-opening at other sites in town.
"They can expect to not have business" if they re-open at the same site, Carrick said. "I think that's an asinine idea, to re-open there and act like nothing's happened.
"I would love to have them re-open in town. But to re-open there it is telling us they don't respect us and they don't care about what happened," he added.
Bruce Magner of Gardnerville offered another option: raze the building and turn the site into a memorial for victims.
"Shouldn't we replace the building pad with memorial trees, grass, benches, and a memorial plaque to represent those innocent victims lost on that tragic day?" he asked in a letter to the Appeal.
"There are plenty of building spaces available in the area. Isn't the IHOP property a place to be considered (sacred) for those families who lost loved ones?" he added.
Stacia Green, whose fiance, Christian Riege, was killed in the rampage, agreed. Riege, 38, of Carson City, was a National Guard
sergeant who was eating with four fellow Guard members when the
shooting occurred. Two other Guard members were killed and two
others were seriously injured.
"They need to tear it down," Green told the Appeal.