Police in Omaha have released 9-1-1 tapes that offer chilling details of what happened inside a mall Wednesday afternoon. The initial calls to police reveal the intensity of the brief time it took for tragedy to strike. A dispatcher answers and asks "What’s your emergency?" The only sound on the other end of the line is a barrage of gunshots.

Many of the calls came from customers inside the store where a gunman killed 8 people and then himself. Police have also released three still images of the gunman taken from surveillance cameras. One image shows 19 year old Robert Hawkins walking into the mall with an apparent bulge under his clothing. Another imagine shows Hawkins aiming an AK-47 rifle.

Meanwhile, officials with Nebraska’s Health and Human Services agency say Hawkins had a troubled past. He became a ward of the state in September 2002 after threatening to kill his stepmother. Hawkins was released from state care in 2006 with mutual consent from his parents, a judge and social workers.

Audio: Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis reports. :49 MP3