Eleven people were shot during the rampage at a Carson City IHOP when a gunman sprayed bullets around the parking lot and at neighboring businesses. Five people were killed in the attack including U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Miranda McElhiney, 31.
She and fellow Nevada Army Guardsmen were taking part in an off-site meeting, having breakfast when the killer walked to the back of the restaurant and started targeting the soldiers. Miranda initially survived the assault.
She was airlifted to Renown Medical Center in Reno, where she later died of her wounds. On Facebook, Nevada Office of Inspector General investigator Paul Hinen wrote that a first responder shared with him what happened while he attended to Miranda following the shooting.
“When they went to load her onto Care Flight, in the midst of the chaos, she looked at the trooper and gave him a thumbs up!” Hinen wrote, “That was just Miranda’s character; ever reassuring and calming to others in her final hours.”
Her death has had a rippling effect throughout the Nevada National guard community, including those no longer serving. Washoe County School District trustee Scott Kelley tells KOLO-TV he first met Miranda when he was assigned to the Stead Armory.
“Miranda was a wonderful person,” Kelley says, “She shouldn’t be remembered as one of the victims in this tragedy — she should be remembered for all the wonderful things she did in this life.”
She was a student at Columbia Southern University, an online university based in Alabama, seeking a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Miranda held several positions while serving the last 13 years in the National Guard including medical, dental and human resources.
Kelley adds, “She’ll be missed.”