Omaha Shooter Led Troubled Young Life

He spent time in institutions for psychiatric problems
By Marcia Greenwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 10:42 PM CST
An unidentified person carries a candle and a sign with the name of Fred Wilson, who was badly injured in the Westroads Mall shooting, at a memorial ceremony for the victims of the shooting, held at Creighton...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The Omaha youth who went on a shooting rampage in a busy mall spent much of his later teen years in institutions and foster care because of behavioral and psychiatric problems, CNN reports. Robert Hawkins' trouble began five years ago, when he was sent to a treatment center after threatening to kill his stepmother, a state official said.

"He also had two psychiatric hospitalizations, and has been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, mood disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and parent-child relationship problems," the official said. A friend of Hawkins', who found the 19-year-old's suicide note, described him as "kind of like a pound puppy that nobody wanted."