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  1. #1
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Friends of Mall Shooter speak out

    Friends of the 19-year-old man who killed eight before committing suicide in an Omaha mall describe someone who didn’t fit the standard image of a mass killer.

    Robert Hawkins wasn’t a loner, had friends, sometimes dated and didn’t seem like he was so consumed by anger over the bad hand life dealt him that he could commit such a heinous crime, two men who knew the gunman said Friday on TODAY.

    “Robert was a very smart man. He could have done anything he wanted to,” one of his best friends, a 20-year-old man who asked to be identified only as Jason, told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira. “He was real gentle, real kind with animals, real nice, real funny. I couldn’t really see him doing anything like this.”

    “He’d never given us an indication of anything like that. He was too mild-mannered,” said another friend, Noah, 19, who also asked to be identified only by his first name. “This is a surprise to everyone.”

    The two friends, speaking from Omaha, spoke in subdued monotones, their faces blank as if from shock. Both had met Hawkins in high school within the past two years. They knew he had been a ward of the state since he was in the eighth grade and had had a rough childhood marked by conflict with his father.
    But since moving in with a surgical nurse, Debora Maruca-Kovac, whose sons were among his tight circle of friends, life had seemed to be looking up for him. But for Hawkins, any advance was usually followed by a defeat, the friends said.
    “He was getting better. He was on his feet again,” said Noah. “But with Rob it was always one step forward and then two steps back. It happened to him over and over again.”

    News reports have noted that Hawkins had in short order lost his girlfriend and his job at McDonalds, but Jason said he hadn’t seemed devastated. On Monday, he had spoken with Hawkins about the lost job.
    “I told him it was no big deal; he could find another job easily,” Jason said. “He said, ‘Yeah, it’s no big deal. I’m not going to worry about it.’ He didn’t seem upbeat, but he didn’t seem too depressed over it.”

    Noah spoke at some length about Hawkins’ troubled childhood. Maruca-Kovac had described Hawkins as a “lost puppy,” and Noah said that was an apt description for the young man he met two years ago.

    “He had it rough as a kid,” he told Vieira. “He seemed like someone that nobody wanted to deal with. He was in the system since eighth grade. He just got dropped off in the adult world, and that was it. He was getting better, but there were so many past problems that bubbled up. It’s hard to explain.”
    Neither would be specific about those problems, including what was apparently a very difficult relationship with his father and stepmother.

    In 2002, Hawkins had threatened to kill his stepmother. That incident put him into the juvenile justice system and four years as a ward of the state. He spent time in a treatment center and also lived in group homes and foster homes. He has one felony drug possession charge in his past that was later dropped, and had had other minor brushes with the law.

    With he turned 18, he was put out on his own and wandered from place to place, staying a few nights at a time at friends’ houses before Maruca-Kovac took him in. She has said there was evidence that he drank and occasionally smoked marijuana, but didn’t think it was anything beyond what many teenagers do.
    He was helpful around the house and seemed so non-threatening that she and her sons thought nothing of it when he showed them an old AK-47 assault rifle he had purchased – apparently the same gun he used in his rampage.

    “Deb took him in and was so loving and caring,” Noah said. “He was so grateful to have her in his life. She did so much for him. She gave him some stability. She tried her best, and evidently her best wasn’t good enough.”
    Neither Jason nor Noah said there was any justification for what their friend did on Wednesday afternoon in the Roadside Mall. When Vieira asked if Hawkins was a victim, Noah said he wasn’t sure.

    “It’s hard to specify what he was a victim of,” Noah said. “I don’t know if that’s the right word for it. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m condoning what he did. Our condolences to those victims and their families. Nothing I can say right now will every give them any amount of peace.”

    hmm...

    1.) No real "family" life, an unusual life growing up
    2.) Threatened to kill his mother
    3.) No father figure
    4.) Spent time locked up in only the 8th grade, and the 4 years that followed.
    5.) Drug and alcohol use
    6.) Purchased a high powered rifle...for what reason?
    7.) Lost job and girlfriend
    8.) Friends stated for every step he took forward, he always took two back. "it happened to him over and over again"
    9.) Spent time in treatment centers, group homes


    Sounds like the makings to me of a criminal, if not a serial killer.

    "I never would have guessed he would do something like this" and other same/similar phrases are specially reserved for the naive sheep of our society.

    Too bad.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  2. #2
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    I'd like to take a moment to address any other potential suicidal mass murderers out there:

    If you are going to put a bullet in your head and nothing can talk you out of it, please don't be an asshole about it and take anyone with you. Innocent people minding their own business don't deserve to be part of your pathetic, twisted, monstrous, and cowardly legacy. While your family weeps over your corpse, everyone else will just think you were an incredible asshole.

    If you lack the balls to do it yourself, then just don't do it. Don't be an asshole about it and make someone else (cop, train engineer, truck driver, etc.) do it for you and then have to live with it. Just admit that you don't have the balls and get on with life, you'll find eventually that overcoming whatever is wrong with your life will build your strength to carry on, beyond all of your expectations.

    Thank you.

    I am countybear and I approved this message.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
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    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  3. #3
    Car 4's Avatar
    Car 4 is offline CID Chief
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    If only they would listen Countybear. I share your feelings on this one.....if only they would listen.

    Jmur......your post is very perceptive. There is a very fine line between a serial killer and a mass killer. You can read this kid like a book.....and if you did you would see that he would come down on the side of mass killing. Had he added a little sexual abuse by his mother's friends, he very well my have gone the serial killer route. His rage must have been awsome to want to take innocents with him. That kind of rage can be seen if you look closely enough.

    I guess his family and friends didn't look.....or they did and now can't live with themselves for allowing this to happen. Thus the "he didn't seem like that kind of guy" crap you always get when he explodes.


    Car 4
    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

  4. #4
    jmur5074's Avatar
    jmur5074 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car 4 View Post
    If only they would listen Countybear. I share your feelings on this one.....if only they would listen.

    Jmur......your post is very perceptive. There is a very fine line between a serial killer and a mass killer. You can read this kid like a book.....and if you did you would see that he would come down on the side of mass killing. Had he added a little sexual abuse by his mother's friends, he very well my have gone the serial killer route. His rage must have been awsome to want to take innocents with him. That kind of rage can be seen if you look closely enough.

    I guess his family and friends didn't look.....or they did and now can't live with themselves for allowing this to happen. Thus the "he didn't seem like that kind of guy" crap you always get when he explodes.


    Car 4
    If anyone hasn't read the book "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker, I strongly recommend it. I'm reading it for the third time. Lt. Col. Dave Grossman also strongly pushes the book for anyone in law enforcement, and even people not in law enforcement. It's all about predicting criminal behavior, recognizing warning signs (the your intuition is warning you about...but you rarely act on), and finally ACTING on those warning signs.

    After reading this book, it drives me nuts when people say
    "he seemed like such a nice guy, I never would have guessed he was a sexual predator"
    "he was always so nice to the children, I don't understand why he'd molest them."
    "Yeah, he'd yell at his wife in the past, and sometimes he'd hit her...but I never thought he'd murder her"
    "He was always such a quiet guy, and kept to himself...I have no idea where his rage came from"
    "He used to just write her lots of e-mails and letters....and he'd show up at work every now and then begging her to take him back....he never seemed like a violent guy"

    DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  5. #5
    Coloradocop's Avatar
    Coloradocop is offline It's the PoPo
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    It seems, to me, as if every one of these little pussies is simply following in the footsteps that the media has left behind from prior shootings... They are all a bunch of cowards, and they only ever fight against unarmed citizens.

    Perhaps a new tactic could help with this? Maybe if we wrote the words "I am a coward" across every picture that would be shown in the press, the other little cowards out there would start thinking "hey, that guy wasn't so cool after all... maybe I wouldn't be cool if I did that either". Then they could sit there, crying alone in their bedroom, and eat the bullet by themselves, like a man!

    (For the record, my aunt was on the way to that particular mall when the shooting happened. My uncle actually sent her a text message telling her not to go there. That could have been bad).

  6. #6
    jmur5074's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradocop View Post
    It seems, to me, as if every one of these little pussies is simply following in the footsteps that the media has left behind from prior shootings... They are all a bunch of cowards, and they only ever fight against unarmed citizens.

    Perhaps a new tactic could help with this? Maybe if we wrote the words "I am a coward" across every picture that would be shown in the press, the other little cowards out there would start thinking "hey, that guy wasn't so cool after all... maybe I wouldn't be cool if I did that either". Then they could sit there, crying alone in their bedroom, and eat the bullet by themselves, like a man!

    (For the record, my aunt was on the way to that particular mall when the shooting happened. My uncle actually sent her a text message telling her not to go there. That could have been bad).
    Another topic in The Gift of Fear - putting these mass murders, serial killers, child molesters, active shooters, etc on a pedestal.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.

  7. #7
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Col. Grossman remarks that true sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. This is perhaps one of the truest statements that he makes. The sheep say, "thank God I wasn't there", while the sheepdogs say "God, I wish I had been there."

    The warrior-minded among us have a "gift" for anyone who would act to take an innocent life in their presence, it is small, yet very powerful, and travels around 1300 feet per second.

    Unfortunately, we live in a society that detests the warrior (until they are needed), but allows themselves to remain asleep in the foggy dream of peace which floats above violent reality. They revile those prepared to act against the predator as "militant", or "fanatic".

    If I am a fanatic for being in readiness, so be it. If I am militant for knowing that evil thrives where people ignore its existence, then I must be so.

    The blind will always be stunned when their veils are pierced by arrows. Seeing the bowstring stretched always allows for more chance to evade.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  8. #8
    MacLean's Avatar
    MacLean is offline O/R Gun mod
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    The warrior-minded among us have a "gift" for anyone who would act to take an innocent life in their presence, it is small, yet very powerful, and travels around 1300 feet per second.
    Can I still play if I give a slightly larger gift moving only 1000 feet per second?

    Great post!
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...



  9. #9
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    Sure you can play, I'll help you. But I won't play with you people would talk.


    Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy

    http://www.armsmaster.net-a.googlepages.com

  10. #10
    Jenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Col. Grossman remarks that true sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. This is perhaps one of the truest statements that he makes. The sheep say, "thank God I wasn't there", while the sheepdogs say "God, I wish I had been there."
    Thank God I wasn't there.

    Actually we sheep also say "We should do something to prevent baa-aaa-aaad stuff like this in the future." But then we can't think of anything that sounds like it would work, so we're back to "Thank God I wasn't there."

  11. #11
    DEPUTY30's Avatar
    DEPUTY30 is offline "Justice the Guardian of Liberty."
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    This hole thing is horrible. I am just down the road from omaha and that is the mall I go to with my family. I think it is sick what people can do to other people anymore and not give a dam how it effects others. This hole thing angers me in the fact that in reading the note from this kid and him writting he wanted to take a few people with him. He could of done us all a favor and just taken himself out. As far as the news and them repeading that no off duty officers were in the mall that day. I Talked to a couple of my guys and we all agree this is b/s to expect that an off duty officer will always be in a mall or as far as that goes be able to respond to take action in the 6 min this lasted.
    *********You can't fix stupid*****************




  12. #12
    Star Man's Avatar
    Star Man is offline Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    Col. Grossman remarks that true sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. This is perhaps one of the truest statements that he makes. The sheep say, "thank God I wasn't there", while the sheepdogs say "God, I wish I had been there."

    The warrior-minded among us have a "gift" for anyone who would act to take an innocent life in their presence, it is small, yet very powerful, and travels around 1300 feet per second.

    Unfortunately, we live in a society that detests the warrior (until they are needed), but allows themselves to remain asleep in the foggy dream of peace which floats above violent reality. They revile those prepared to act against the predator as "militant", or "fanatic".

    If I am a fanatic for being in readiness, so be it. If I am militant for knowing that evil thrives where people ignore its existence, then I must be so.

    The blind will always be stunned when their veils are pierced by arrows. Seeing the bowstring stretched always allows for more chance to evade.
    CB,,,,, I love reading your posts. You always hit the topic right on the head. If I can't put my thoughts into words like you at least I can enjoy reading your posts.

    As far as how you say you are a fanatic for readiness, I fully agree. I think we all should consider carrying while off duty. I can't believe I still talk to fellow LEO in my department who say it's too bulky, or a pain, or some other BS excuse. The first thought that came into my mind when I heard of this tragedy was to immediately picture it in my mind. I pictured seeing the coward lifting the rifle up to his shoulder and sighting it in as I was drawing out my back up weapon and eliminating the threat. That is the preparation I have heard we need. We have to know what our actions would be (in our minds eye) to not be completely shocked and freeze when the situation really occurs! This would be a very possible shot from the first floor below him or if you were on the same floor with him. Even if you are across some open courtyard type of expanse, take the time to breath and squeeze squeeze squeeze -- pop!

    CARRY OFF DUTY!!!

    IT COULD BE YOUR FAMILY YOU SAVE IN A MALL OR STORE OR CHURCH OR RESTAURANT!!!!!!!
    ...........................................

  13. #13
    bayern's Avatar
    bayern is offline Officer First Class
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    We all Talk MOCHO like about this kid. Real bad, etc, etc, BUT if you done all you could, made the right choices, best schools, etc, etc, what if:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    IT WAS YOUR KID.

    Nah, I'm not getting soft, just older and realize that after ALL the years in Public Service (Military and Police) I havn't made much a dent in how society acts or what they do. Ya go to work in the AM, lock up the bad dudes, go home and tomorrow, SOS.

    Think of your family, how you treat them, what you give them, love, compassion, companionship, go to church (or whatever) weekly, give them all lthe right things,

    BUT WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR KID. He really had to be tormented.

  14. #14
    10-42Adam's Avatar
    10-42Adam is offline Major
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    Sorry, but how does someone get fired from McDonalds?! Come on now...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

    A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
    -Winston Churchill

  15. #15
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayern View Post
    We all Talk MOCHO like about this kid. Real bad, etc, etc, BUT if you done all you could, made the right choices, best schools, etc, etc, what if:
    .
    .
    .
    .
    IT WAS YOUR KID.
    I completely understand your point, bayern. It is well made and well taken.

    While I do not consider it 'macho' for those of us in law enforcement to detest evil, especially when it manifests itself in random, rampant, deadly violence, I can only ponder how truly terrifying it must be for the surviving family of this young man.

    I endeavor everyday to raise my children to have the same high regard for human life that I was taught, and this is so that they, being steered by an abiding faith, would never commit even the most minor act of violence against another living thing without solid and undeniable justification.

    I can say this, however; that were ever one of my children to become the bringer of such havoc and death, I earnestly and fervently pray that someone, anyone, would stand up and end their rampage before a single innocent was lost, even if that meant ending my child's life in the process.

    As a father who is deeply in love with his children, that is probably the one of the most difficult and heartwrenching scenarios that I could ever imagine. Believe me, I do not make such statements lightly, but with all gravity. I would rather my child be remembered as troubled, than as a butcher of innocents.

    More realistically, were I to ever believe my child capable of such unfettered evil, I would take it upon myself to see to it that they were disallowed access to society, but kept in security and restraint to the greatest degree possible, for as long as I believed such threat existed. That is seemingly the rub, that anyone could believe their child capable of such abyssmal darkness.

    In this profession, we deal with reality. In order to do that, we conceptualize the implausible, consider the impossible, and analyze the improbable. All this we do, so that we remain prepared to stand in the face of brutal and unmerciful adversity. I give anyone quarter when they say, "thoughts and imagination are paled by life experience", yet without our consideration and forethought, we would be as those completely unprepared.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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    That from the nunnery
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    To war and arms I fly.
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  16. #16
    bayern's Avatar
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    Right on Countybear, you just got a better gift for words then I do.

  17. #17
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Man View Post
    CB,,,,, I love reading your posts. You always hit the topic right on the head. If I can't put my thoughts into words like you at least I can enjoy reading your posts.
    bayern: Right on Countybear, you just got a better gift for words then I do.
    Kind words from you both. I thank you.

    I think its just more like "I can bullshit with the shittiest".

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

 

 

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