Omaha's Westroads Mall reopened today with extra security. Westroads mall is the mall in Omaha, Nebraska where Robert Hawkins killed eight people earlier in the week before turning his gun on himself. The Von Maur store, where the killings took place, still has not reopened.
There is a makeshift memorial of flowers, notes and poems that cover around two thirds of the bottom steps of the entrance that gunman Robert Hawkins used when he entered the store.
There may have been some other issues that led to the shootings. According to CNN:
Hawkins was a troubled teenager who spent four years in a series of treatment centers, group homes and foster care after threatening to kill his stepmother in 2002. He had recently broken up with a girlfriend and lost his job at a McDonald's.
"I've just snapped. I can't take this meaningless existence anymore I've been a constant disappointment and that trend would have only continued," he wrote in a suicide note left at the suburban house where he lived.
Some who knew Hawkins in suburban Bellevue said Friday that they tried to warn police about his recent behavior.
Kevin Harrington, who lived nearby, said he contacted police a month ago to report his and other parents' concerns that Hawkins and his friends had easy access to guns and sold drugs.
Apparently Harrington told Bellevue Police a month ago that one of Hawkins' friends had offered to sell Valium to his 13 year old son and that Hawkins had once shot at a car during a bad drug deal.
The Mayor of Omaha, Nebraska was at the Westroads Mall today greeting shoppers today. He says the mall is safe and extra security guards will be on duty.
The Hawkins family released a statement through Reverand Mark Miller of Faith Presbyterian Church in which they said they hope the community can heal.
Hawkins had been in a state-mandated psychiatric care in the summer of 2006 after four years of treatment and counseling, and walked away not because he was prepared to face society on his own but because they felt that there was nothing left to offer him that he was going to respond to.
During the time in which he was a ward of the state, Hawkins was diagnosed with depression, attention deficit disorder, impulsiveness, hyperactivity and a disorder characterized by negativity and hostility toward authority figures. He was convicted of third-degree assault as well as for offering to sell drugs at school.
Omaha police released two suicide notes yesterday as well as a will that were written before going on his shooting rampage. One of the notes is insulting to the people that he killed.
In a related incident a friend of Robert Hawkins allegedly threatened a Bellevue family on Thursday after their teenage daughter posted uncomplimentary comments on the Internet about Hawkins. The friend was ticketed for misdemeanor intimidation using a cell phone and disturbing the peace based on cell phone text messages and a posting on MySpace.
Another friend of Hawkins', David Horvath was arrested on suspicion of making terroristic threats on Thursday and was taken to the Sarpy County Juvenile Justice Center where he was ordered to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether he is a threat to himself or others. The Juvenile court has ordered him to remain in juvenile detention pending the outcome of the evaluation. His parents will be paying for the evaluation and a second hearing is scheduled for next week.
Apparently Kevin Harrington, whom I mentioned above, is the father of the girl who was threatened in both cases. His daughter, Shelby said that Hawkins had threatened to kill her two or three weeks ago after he and some friends had accused her of stealing things from Hawkins' car.
As usual the anti-NRA morons are coming out of the woodwork...
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