Police say the 19-year-old who killed eight people in an Omaha mall Wednesday smuggled an assault rifle into the mall underneath some clothing. Robert Hawkins shot several people, then himself, before officers arrived.
The victims were identified this morning and two of them are from Iowa.John McDonald of Council Bluffs was killed and Fred Wilson of Council Bluffs was injured – he’s listed in serious condition today. Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey spoke at a news conference this morning.
"The actions of this deeply disturbed individual do not represent what our city is all about," Fahey said. "This was an ugly act of cowardice…We are a community who will grieve this loss but will return to the vibrant city we are proud to call home."
Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman echoed those sentiments. "Like most Nebraskans, I’m shocked. I’m stunned and I’m still in disbelief," he said. "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Our entire state is grieving." Von Maur president Jim Von Maur joined the Governor and mayor at this morning’s news conference.
"First and foremost, I want to express my profound shock and sadness," Von Maur said. "…We do have confirmation that Von Maur associates are among the victims." Of the eight killed by the gunman, six were employees of Von Maur; two were customers. Two of the injured were also Von Maur employees.
A high school junior who says she used to hang out with Hawkins and his friends went on an Omaha radio station this morning. The girl, who asked not to be identified by name, said she quit hanging out with the group because their drug use became excessive. The girl said Hawkins recently called her, accused her of stealing his CD player, and threatened to kill her and her family and burn their house down.