Thursday, December 06, 2007

Robert A. Hawkins: Another Hurting, Low Self-Esteem Young Man Goes Out and Takes Others With Him...

Chief: Shooter left store, came back with assault rifle source

OMAHA, Nebraska (CNN) -- The man who killed eight people and then himself at a Nebraska mall Wednesday came into the store and looked around before leaving and returning with an assault rifle, Omaha's police chief said Thursday.

Hawkins left the store and returned six minutes later concealing something -- presumably the AK-47 assault rifle used in the rampage -- under a hooded sweatshirt, Warren said.

Hawkins turned right, took an elevator to the third floor and immediately started shooting in the store's customer service area, Warren said. Watch officials detail the rampage »

Six store employees and two customers were fatally wounded before Hawkins turned the gun on himself, the chief said. The five women and three men who died ranged in age from 24 to 66, he said.

Five other people were injured, and two of them were in critical condition, hospital officials said.

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman ordered that flags throughout the state be lowered to half-staff through Sunday.

The mall was expected to remain closed at least through Thursday, the store longer. Company President Jim Von Maur said grief counseling would be provided for employees and their families. A memorial fund is in the works, he said.

Warren said Hawkins apparently chose his victims randomly and spoke little or not at all while firing about 30 rounds.

"It was just so loud, and then it was silence," said witness Jennifer Kramer, who hid inside a circular clothing rack. "I was scared to death he'd be walking around looking for someone else." Watch how Kramer and her mother hid »

Hawkins lived with a friend's family. The mother, Debra Maruca Kovac, said she found a suicide note after getting a phone call from Hawkins about 1 p.m., just minutes before the shootings.

"He basically said how sorry he was for everything," Maruca Kovac said of the note. "He didn't want to be a burden to people and that he was a piece of s--- all of his life and that now he'd be famous."

She said he told her he'd just been fired from his job at a McDonald's restaurant.

Mall fatalities:
Gary Scharf, 48, customer

John McDonald, 65, customer

Angie Shuster, 36, employee

Maggie Webb, 24, employee

Janet Jorgensen, 66, employee

Diane Trent, 53, employee

Gary Joy, 56, employee

Beverly Flynn, 47, employee

"I said, 'Come home and we'll talk about it,' " she recounted. "He said, 'It's too late.' He said he'd left a note explaining everything."

She said Hawkins was a friend of her sons who "reminded me of a pound puppy that nobody wanted." He came to live with her family about a year and a half ago, telling her he could not stay with his own family because of "some issues with his stepmother."

The governor said Hawkins had been a ward of the state for about four years, but he did not specify in what capacity. The state's custody was terminated in August of 2006, Heineman said. He did not provide any further details.

Maruca Kovac described Hawkins as well-behaved, although "he had a lot of emotional problems, obviously."

She told the Omaha World-Herald that Hawkins showed her an assault rifle the night before the rampage, but because of his mild demeanor she wasn't alarmed.

Police believe Hawkins stole the AK-47 from his stepfather's home, Warren said. They are trying to trace the weapon and determine whether the stepfather owned it legally, he added.

The shootings began about 1:42 p.m. (2:42 p.m. ET).

Seven people were found dead at the scene by officers who arrived six minutes later; two others died at Creighton University Medical Center, said Fire Chief Robert Dahlquist.

Warren said Hawkins' body and the rifle were found on the store's third floor.

Mall employee Charissa Tatoon said a man by an escalator near her was heard saying he was calling 911. See a map of where the shooting took place »

"Immediately after that, the shooter shot down from the third floor and shot him on the second floor," she said.

A friend of Hawkins' said he hadn't thought Hawkins was capable of such violence.

"He was the one guy, you know, if people would be getting in a fight he'd be trying to break it up," Shawn Saunders, who had known Hawkins for about two and a half years, told CNN. "If there were arguments amongst our friends or groups, he was kind of like the calm, cool and collected one." Watch how Saunders learned Hawkins was the shooter »

U.S. Army recruiters turned Hawkins down last summer when he tried to enlist, a source familiar with the situation told CNN Thursday.

The source didn't want to be named because it's against the rules to discuss potential recruits. The reason for his rejection was unclear.

Two recruiters said Hawkins seemed like an average teenager who said he wanted to leave Omaha and take his life in a different direction.

"He said he'd had a rough time in his life and wanted to see about changing it," said Army Sgt. Edward Dust.

President Bush had visited Omaha on Wednesday before the shooting.

"The president is deeply saddened by the shootings in Omaha," White House press secretary Dana Perino said. "His thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families."
Sadly, these types of stories are becoming all too familiar.
They shouldn't, but they are nontheless.
He was quoted as saying he wanted to "go out in style."
When killing innocent people and then committing suicide, which was a cowardly act for Hawkins is considered going "out in style" -I guess i'll continue to be out of style.
Thoughts and prayers goes out to all of the family, friends and loved ones of the affected victims.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please know...threats of hell and bible scriptures are futile-look at your church if you don't believe me! Get your 'body of christ' in order and then come talk to me.

Yours in Reason, Bria :)