Slaughter in Omaha
Nine people are dead, including the shooter. From AP-
OMAHA, Neb. - The teenager carried his rifle into the mall, passing shoppers and decorations.Actually(AP must not read the local paper) the Omaha World-Herald has details about some of the victims. Click here to read about them. God bless the dead and their families.
A department store employee was pressing a suit for a customer. A woman was making a quick stop to buy Christmas presents before picking up her son from school. Christmas music played.
The gunman stopped on the third floor and cut through the sounds with gunfire. Shoppers and employees at the Westroads Mall scrambled for cover in dressing rooms, clothing racks, offices and storage areas.
Eight people were killed and five wounded before the shooter ended the horror by taking his own life. He left behind a note that read, in part, "Now I'll be famous."
Robert A. Hawkins, 19, had recently split with his girlfriend and been fired from McDonald's. He had a criminal record and had left or been kicked out of his parents' house.
Police Chief Thomas Warren said the shooting appeared to be random and that the dead included five females and four males, including the gunman. Warren would not release the victims' identities Wednesday night and gave no motive for the attack, but promised more details in a news conference scheduled for Thursday morning.
Hawkins appears to have been a disturbed young man.
Hawkins moved from his family's home about a year ago. He moved in with a friend's family, and Debora Maruca-Kovac and her husband welcomed him into their home and tried to help him.He's famous(infamous) all right. As can be seen, Hawkins left family behind. They're going to have to live with what their family member did. I'm guessing, but I think it will be a very heavy burden. Just like it was for the family of Sun-Kyung Cho, the Virginia Tech killer.
"When he first came in the house, he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted," Maruca-Kovac told The Associated Press.
She told the Omaha World-Herald that the night before the shooting, Hawkins and her sons showed her an SKS semiautomatic Russian military rifle — the same type used in the shooting. She said she thought the gun belonged to a member of Hawkins' family. She said she didn't think much of it — the gun looked too old to work.
Records in Sarpy and Washington counties showed Hawkins had a felony drug conviction and several misdemeanor cases filed against him, including an arrest 11 days before the shooting for having alcohol as a minor. He was due in court in two weeks.
Maruca-Kovac said Hawkins had recently broken up with a girlfriend and was fired from McDonald's. She told the World-Herald that Hawkins said he had been fired after being accused of stealing $17 from his till at the restaurant. McDonald's management declined to comment to the newspaper.
Maruca-Kovac said he phoned her at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, telling her he had left a note. She tried to get him to explain.
"He said, 'It's too late,'" and hung up, she told CNN. She then called Hawkins' mother.
In the note, which was turned over to authorities, Hawkins wrote that he was "sorry for everything" and would not be a burden on his family anymore. More ominously, he wrote, "Now I'll be famous."
We're certain to hear more details about the killer and his victims in Omaha. As Peter Read told us to do, remember those who died rather than the darkness of one disturbed individual.
One last note. I wonder how long it will before the gun control advocates, pro and con, start jumping on this. Oops it already is happening. Next we'll hear some clueless idiot(Wake up Mark Steyn) muse on how the victims meekly went to deaths. Both sides need their heads examined in my opinion.
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