Nine Dead in Omaha Mall Shooting
Nine people are dead after a shooting at a mall in Omaha, including the alleged shooter.
Five others were hurt and holiday shoppers were sent running for their lives when the shooter opened fire. It happened inside the Von Maur store at Westroads Mall.
Tonight a portrait of the killer is beginning to emerge.
Friends identify him as Robert Hawkins. Local media describe him as troubled, at times homeless, saying today he had been fired by an area McDonald's for allegedly stealing $17.
Media reports indicate Hawkins went into the mall wearing a military style haircut, camouflage clothing and carrying a rifle.
Mall Employee, Teresa Wheerun, says, "All I could see was that big gun."
The first 9-1-1 call came out at 1:42 Wednesday afternoon.
Shots were ringing out from the 3rd floor on shoppers below.
Witness, Chuck Wright, says, "I heard bang, bang, bang, and I immediately kind of froze."
The shoppers fled the store with hands up, as police tried to differentiate between suspects and victims.
The shooter was among 9 people shot dead. And before the mall rampage he left a suicide note saying that he would quote, "be going out in style".
For several hours Wednesday night, the bomb squad with a robot, surrounded the killer's car on the other side of the mall and then towed that car away. Police will be there all night investigating.
Westroads Mall has more than 135-stores and restaurants and gets more than 14 and a half million visitors a year.
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