Bush Comments on Omaha Shootings

The Associated Press
Thursday, December 6, 2007; 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- 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.

© 2007 The Associated Press