Company Will Reopen Omaha Department Store On Thursday

Monday, December 17th 2007, 2:07 pm
By: News On 6

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ The department store where a teen gunman went on a rampage will reopen Thursday, about two weeks after the shootings, company officials said.

The Von Maur store at Westroads Mall will hold a brief ceremony in memory of those killed and hurt before the opening, the company said.

Robert Hawkins, 19, shot 11 people inside the store on Dec. 5, killing eight and wounding three, before committing suicide. Six of those slain were Von Maur employees.

``We know that nothing we do will ever erase the pain that was caused that day, yet we remain committed to doing everything we can to support and provide comfort to the victims, their families and all of our associates,'' said Jim von Maur, company president.

The Westroads Mall reopened on Dec. 8, but Von Maur had remained closed. Since the shootings, people have left tribute items on the south steps of the store outside, and have covered the inside entrances of Von Maur with handmade paper snowflakes.

Von Maur established a memorial fund with the local United Way for the shooting victims and their families. United Way officials said $312,000 had been donated to the fund as of Monday. The contributions have come from donors in 33 states.