A gunman opened fire from the balcony of a shopping mall in Omaha Nebraska today and shot several people. At least five people have been shot according to witnesses and local media. One witness still inside the mall said that two people were dead and nine wounded, shot at random by a man with a rifle on a third floor balcony.
President Bush gave an address in Omaha this morning but he had already left the city several hours before the shootings occurred.
According to CNN, nine were killed including a man thought to be the gunman, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A spokesperson for the Omaha Police Department, Sgt. Teresa Negron, said during an official announcement that nine people have died from their wounds and two people are in critical condition. The shooter is deceased and his body had not been removed from the crime scene at that point.
9:11pm – here’s a bit of raw video from KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska…
After the shooting Police locked down the shopping center while they searched for the gunman.
Updated 9:59pm –
The Police have identified the shooter as Robert A. Hawkins. He was believed to be about 19 or 20 and apparently his mother found a suicide not in his home that said he wanted to ‘go out in style’.
A shot from the front of Westroads Mall in Omaha, where the shootings took place.
This is the fourth mall shooting this year that I am aware of including shootings in Salt Lake City, Kansas City and the attempted robbery that took place at the mall about 20 miles from me in Douglasville, Georgia.
CBS affiliate KMTV had this report on the shooting earlier today. The video is acting sort of funny, at least on my end, most likely due to heavy traffic on their server. Hopefully that will clear itself up later this evening.