Thursday, December 6, 2007
Price of Fame; Profile of A Killer (Robert Hawkins) -by Legal Pub Update 12-7
Fame. I want to live forever. I want to touch the sky. Fame...
In Omaha, Nebraska, the price of fame has been revealed as the profile of a killer is unraveled. Headlines tell the reader that 19 year old Robert Hawkins went to the mall that day sporting a military-style haircut (Hawkins had recently cut his long hair), black backpack, and a camouflage vest. Hawkins then fired a rifle at a department store from a third floor balcony of the Von Maur store killing eight people and terrorizing holiday shoppers. He then killed himself. But why?
Robert Hawkins' answered the question in a few short written words: "Now I'll be famous."
Hawkins achieved his warped goal with the aid of a SKS assault rifle. (ABC has reported that it is an AK 47) Omaha Police Chief Thomas Warren opines that the shooting was random and provided no motive for the attack. But one needs little help from Chief Warren to reach some strong opinions. Hawkins was ostracized by his family about a year ago. Hawkins moved to Bellevue to live with Deborah Maruca-Kovac and her husband who were parents of his friend. Debora Maruca-Kovac and her husband apparently welcomed Hawkins.
Deborah Maruca-Kovac told the Associated Press, "When he first came in the house, he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted." Upon further inquiry, it turns out that Hawkins was fired from his job at a McDonald's the week of the shootings. (Apparently $17 was missing.) In addition, he had broken up with a longtime girlfriend two weeks before the shooting. Hawkins apparently had phoned his ex-girlfriend about 1 p.m. on Wednesday. He apparently told her that he had left a note for her in his bedroom according to CNN.
The ex-girlfriend apparently called Hawkins' mother and then retrieved the note from Maruca-Kovacs' house. The note apparently said, Hawkins was "sorry for everything," and would no longer be a burden on his family. It also predicted, "Now I'll be famous."
Keith Fidler, a Von Maur employee, said he heard five to six shots followed by 15 to 20 more. rounds. Shawn Vidlak said the shots sounded like a nail gun
Maruca-Kovac apparently turned the note over to authorities and went to work at the Nebraska Medical Center. Several hours later, shooting victims were brought to Nebraska Medical Center which apparently cared for three victims and Creighton University Medical Center which cared for three others.
President Bush had been in Omaha earlier in the day for a fundraiser, but had left before the shooting. This was the second mall shooting this year. In February, nine people were shot, five of them fatally, at Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City by 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, who was killed by police.
The price of fame? Much too high when innocent lives are taken.
Update 12-7: In 2002 Hawkins apparently threatened to kill his step mom. This was apparently a troubled youth that needed help and supervision.