Murder, suicide in Carson City neighborhood |

Murder, suicide in Carson City neighborhood

Maggie O'Neill
Brad Horn / Tribune News Service / A neighbor of Shelly Hachenberger's reacts near the crime scene at 2076 Hawaii Circle after it was reported by the Carson City Sheriff's Office that Chris Rasmussen killed Hachenberger by shooting her multiple times before killing himself.

CARSON CITY – A 40-year-old capital city woman, shot and killed Wednesday morning in her home by a former boyfriend who then killed himself, had filed a stalking order against him less than a month ago.

In her petition, state prisons worker Shelly Hachenberger wrote that Chris Rasmussen, 48, had left a series of messages containing “vile, filthy profanity,” and warned her that he “was losing it.”

Hachenberger’s no-stalking order against Ennis “Chris” Rasmussen, a retired Nevada correctional officer, did not protect her when he shot his way through the front door of her Carson City home around 7 a.m. with a .223-caliber rifle, a semi-automatic weapon.

Hachenberger was found dead in the master bedroom of the home about 10 a.m. with multiple wounds to her body, according to Sgt. Bob White of the Carson City Sheriff’s Department. Rasmussen, dead from a self-inflicted bullet to the head, was also found in the master bedroom.

According to Sheriff Kenny Furlong, when deputies arrived on the scene they tried making contact with anyone inside. “No one responded to us,” he said.

Neighbors and businesses on Industrial Park Drive were evacuated were told to leave because they were in the line of fire.

Claudio Ortiz, 13, one of the older children of a family who lives nearby, said he awoke to gunshots. “It was like someone was in our house with a hammer pounding nails,” he said.

According to neighbors, Hachenberger had two daughters, 9 and 6. The Ortiz children play with them and say both daughters were away.

Neighbor Steve Barnes was told to stay inside his house, but one thing did catch his eye.

“I saw the kids’ bikes out in front and I hoped the kids weren’t at home,” he said.

Several families waited near the industrial complex between Fairview and Industrial Park drives as the sheriff’s office SWAT team entered the home. Hachenberger’s mother, who was among them, said she received a call that morning from friends.

“We’re relatively certain she’s in there,” she said, waiting for confirmation.

Within an hour, the SWAT team returned without anyone in custody and Hachenberger’s mother broke down, saying she knew her daughter was dead.

“What kind of person does this?” asked a woman nearby.

According to the sheriff’s office, the couple had a history of domestic abuse. In late June, Hachenberger filed a stalking order against Rasmussen alleging he called her home and office many times, leaving more than 80 voice mails over a period of 10 days.

She reported that he came to her home on June 28 and when she denied him entry, he responded, “It’s on now.”

On July 11, deputies arrested Rasmussen for violating the order after Hachenberger called 911 saying Rasmussen was chasing her on his motorcycle on Edmonds Drive and yelling at her.

Rasmussen was released on bail, according to justice court.

Both had worked for the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Hachenberger started working for the department in March 1990. Her latest position was as a clerical aide, according to Fritz Schlottman, prison spokesman.

Rasmussen also worked for Nevada Department of Corrections, starting in 1977 and retiring in May 2000.

Prisons director Jackie Crawford sent a note to Hachenberger’s co-workers and family.

“The Nevada Department of Corrections has lost one of its finest staff to a senseless crime,” she wrote. “Everyone who had the pleasure of meeting Shelly knew her as a hard-working, talented and devoted team member as well as a devoted mother.

“I hope you are comforted by the knowledge that she will forever remain in our hearts and in our memories.”

Gov. Kenny Guinn also offered his condolences.

“I was extremely saddened to learn of Shelly’s death,” he said. “Over the past 16 years, she was everything that we look for in our best people: She was always happy, she was always efficient and skilled on the job. She was always a friend, mentor and confidante to her co-workers, and she was always a wonderful parent to her children.”


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