Mall Shooter Took Gun While Briefly Alone

Assault gun in Omaha slayings came from ex-stepfather's house
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 13, 2007 12:30 PM CST
Shopper Ralph Pane carries a Christmas gift past a memorial of paper snowflakes outside a mall entrance to the Von Maur Department Store at the Westroads Mall Omaha, Neb., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. Eight...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The night before the Omaha mall shootings, Robert Hawkins' mother went Christmas shopping for an hour. In that hour alone in his ex-stepfather's house, reports the Omaha World-Herald, the 19-year-old stole the assault rifle he used to randomly kill eight people the next day. At dinner, Hawkins told his mother that he'd lost his job, but seemed "neutral."

Maribel Rodriguez discovered the gun missing later that night, but thought Hawkins meant to sell it. She apologized today for her son's actions, telling Good Morning America "He was without hope. He was without courage. Because you don't do that to other people."