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.
12/6/2007 Gunman's Past Emerges After Omaha Mall Massacre