Authorities in Carson City, Nv., still are searching for the gunman's motive in Tuesday’s shooting rampage at an IHOP restaurant. Investigations could yet uncover why the shooter stepped from a minivan with a yellow “Support Our Troops” sticker on it and killed five people, including three members of the National Guard. Often there is a pattern to be discerned by seemingly random mass killings, undercutting the notion that somebody “suddenly snaps and goes berserk and then shoot at anything that moves,” criminologist James Alan Fox of Northeastern University tells the Christian Science Monitor.
In the Nevada case, Fox says, “My hunch is that the choice of location and perhaps even the victims was not just random.” Just before 9 a.m., Eduardo Sencion, 32, marched toward a table of five uniformed National Guard members, shooting each one, fatally wounding three. He later shot himself to death. A report by a local CBS affiliate said Sencion’s family said he had “mental issues.” “We have more mentally ill people than ever before who are not receiving proper care and treatment,” says Charles Williams of the Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence at Philadelphia’s Drexel University. “You can't even find [a psychiatric hospital] anymore. [ ] we saved public dollars in the short-term but could be compromising public safety in the long term.”