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Bush Expresses Sympathy To Families Of Those Killed In Mall Shooting

Updated:
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush offered sympathy Thursday to the families of those killed a day earlier in Omaha, Neb., where a troubled teenager opened fire in a shopping mall. The gunman killed eight people before taking his own life.

``I was in Omaha just before the shooting took place, and I know what a difficult day it is for that fine community,'' said Bush, who had traveled to the area to attend a Republican fundraiser and was on his way back to Washington when the shootings took place.

``The victims and their loved ones are in the prayers of Americans,'' Bush said. ``The federal government stands ready to help in any way we can, and the whole nation grieves for the people of Omaha.''

The shooter, identified as 19-year-old Robert A. Hawkins, killed six store employees and two customers and then turned the gun on himself. Hawkins apparently had a troubled past, and authorities continued to investigate what may have motivated the teen to go on the shooting spree.

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