Gunman at Omaha Mall Upset Over Being Fired

Teen who killed 9 just lost fast-food job
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 7:54 PM CST
Witnesses to the shooting at the Von Maur store in Omaha, Neb., stand outside the mall Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007. A man with a rifle opened fire at a busy department store Wednesday, killing eight people...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The 19-year-old gunman who killed eight people and himself in a busy Omaha shopping mall today had been fired from his job at McDonald's hours earlier after being accused of stealing $17, the Omaha World-Herald reports. Robert A. Hawkins, who opened fire on afternoon shoppers with a rifle, left a suicide saying he would be "going out in style," police told WOWT-TV.

Hawkins, who dropped out of high school last year, had been homeless briefly but was staying with friends before the shooting. "He called very upset and said he'd gotten fired from his job," a friend told WOWT-TV. Five people remained injured in today's shooting, which sent hundreds of terrified shoppers fleeing from Westroads Mall.