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Von Maur where 8 victims were shot and killed
Credit: Google Maps
The atrium where Robert Hawkins fired down, killing 2 men on the first and second floor.
Surveillance footage showing Robert Hawkins firing on his victims.
Credit: Omaha Police Department
The memorial plaque for the victims of the shooting inside the Von Maur store.
Credit: Alyssa Schukar/The World-Herald
Killer(s): Robert Hawkins,
Victim(s): Beverly Flynn, Janet Jorgensen, Gary Joy, John McDonald, Gary Scharf, Angie Schuster, Dianne Trent, Maggie Webb,
Written by: Jewls Krueger
On December 5, 2007, Robert Hawkins opened fire inside of a Von Maur department store inside the Westroads Mall. The 19-year-old shooter entered the south entrance of the store with a semi-automatic commercial rifle and two 30 round magazines concealed under his sweatshirt. He immediately took the elevator to the 3rd floor and began to open fire. He initially shot and killed 2 women who were standing at a clothing rack, then fired down the atrium killing 2 men on lower floors. He walked along the 3rd floor, killing one more man on his way to the customer service desk, where he killed 3 more people. He then placed the mouth of the rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger, killing himself. In total including Hawkins, 9 people died in the shooting and 4 victims who were shot ultimately survived. It remains the deadliest mass murder in Nebraska.
Prior to the shooting, Hawkins had a long history of violent behavior starting at just 4 years old. He was born into a military family and his violent behavior was attributed to ADHD and a chaotic home life. When he was 14, he threatened to kill his stepmother and was subsequently checked into a mental health treatment center. Shortly after, he became a ward of the state. In 2005 he was expelled from Fort Calhoun High School for selling drugs to his classmates. He then attended another high school, but dropped out before graduating. In 2007 he attempted to enroll in the Army, but was denied due to his extensive mental health background. Shortly before the shooting, Hawkins was fired from his job at McDonalds for stealing $17 and him and his girlfriend had broken up. The day of the shooting, he wrote a suicide note, part of which read, “Just think tho, I'm gonna be fuckin famous”.
The Von Maur department store is still in operation at the Westroads Mall. The store has a memorial plaque that lists the names of all the victims who's lives were taken on December 5, 2007. The Mall is located in Central Omaha at the interchange of Highway 680 and Interstate 6. The entrance that Hawkins used was the south entrance, and went to the 3rd floor where most of his victims were.
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