Omaha Shooter Cased Store, Smuggled Gun

Police say he hid an AK-47 inside balled-up sweatshirt
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 3:52 PM CST
Omaha police chief Thomas Warren, right, speaks at a news conference in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, Dec. 6, 2007. Chief Warren said that Robert Hawkins, the teenage gunman who went on a shooting rampage in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 19-year-old Robert Hawkins briefly looked around the Von Maur department store yesterday before leaving, only to return six minutes later and open fire with a stolen AK-47 in the Omaha rampage that left nine dead. Upon reentry, Hawkins was "concealing something balled up in a hooded sweatshirt," police said. The gun apparently belonged to Hawkins' stepfather, Reuters reports.

Hawkins tried to enlist in the US Army over the summer but was turned down for reasons that remain unclear, a source told CNN. He had been convicted on a felony drug charge, the AP reports, and had been charged with several misdemeanors, including a minor-in-possession-of-alcohol count for which he was due in court in two weeks.