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Hard Lessons: Carson City’s own mass shooting

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 7:02 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - September 6, 2011 a man walked into an IHOP restaurant on Carson Street and began shooting.

The first call into Carson Sheriff’s 9-1-1 came from the owner of a restaurant next door. “IHOP. Automatic weapons. IHOP. Get there right now. Automatic weapons.”

Even a veteran like Sheriff Ken Furlong found it hard to believe what he was hearing.

“That shock right away. I’ve felt it at many, many incidents. It takes you a moment to get past ‘What am I going to?’”

Eighty five seconds after that call the incident was over. Officers arrived to find five dead and seven wounded. Among the dead, the shooter: 32 year old Eduardo Sencion. He’d stepped outside and turned one of his guns on himself.

“We were fortunate at the IHOP in that he moved outside. In a case where that shooter remains active, the potential for danger is just so high. It’s unbelievable.”

Questions were asked as they always are beginning with why Sencion, who had a history of mental health issues, had a fully automatic weapon, or in his case, any gun at all.

“There was no reason for this person to have access whatsoever. When a weapon has an environment where mental health are concerns around it, those weapons need to be secured. They need to be secured all the time.”

There were other hard lessons, as Furlong says there always are in each of these incidents. The first responding officers, usually patrol officers, arrive ill-equipped for what they face in information and equipment.

“Initial officers arriving at the scene were completely outgunned by the shooter.”

The biggest lesson though may be that prevention lies in addressing the mental issues that trigger these incidents.

“If we can get help to these folks before the incidents occur, we may be able to prevent them.

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