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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 01:48 GMT
Gun rampage US teen note released
CCTV footage showing Robert Hawkins aiming his gun
Police released CCTV footage of Hawkins aiming his weapon

Police have released a suicide note written by the teenager who shot dead eight people in a US shopping centre.

In the note, Robert Hawkins, 19, from Bellevue, Nebraska, said he "just snapped" before opening fire at the Westroads Mall in Omaha on Wednesday.

And he predicted that "everyone will remember me as some sort of monster".

Police say Hawkins fired more than 30 rounds from an SKS assault rifle as he killed six workers at the Von Maur department store and two customers.

'Meaningless existence"

"Please understand that I just don't want to be a burden on the ones that I care for my entire life," Hawkins said in his note.

Hawkins left a suicide note apologising for his actions.

The three-page letter also contains an apology to Hawkins' family:

"I'm so sorry for what I've put you through. I never meant to hurt all of you so much and I don't blame any one of you for disowning me," he wrote.

"I've just snapped - I can't take this meaningless existence anymore. I've been a constant disappointment and that trend would have only continued."

And he anticipated that his actions would bring him notoriety:

"Just think tho - I'm gonna be ... famous," he wrote, in a passage addressed to his friends.

He was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted
Debora Maruca Kovac
Mother of gunman's friend

As well as the suicide note, police also released CCTV footage of Hawkins entering the shopping centre and aiming his weapon.

Police said Hawkins appeared to shoot at random and the incident was over before officers, alerted by a 911 emergency call, could intervene.

Hawkins struck as the centre was crowded with Christmas shoppers, and witnesses spoke of people screaming and scrambling to find safe shelter.

Witnesses said Hawkins fired down on shoppers from a balcony on the third floor of the Von Maur store.

'Lost puppy'

He is said to have suffered from depression in the past, and recently lost his job at McDonald's and broke up with his girlfriend.

US MASS SHOOTINGS IN 2007
Oct: Asa H Coon, 14, shoots four people, injuring them, at his school in Cleveland, Ohio, before killing himself.
April: Cho Seung-hui , 23, shoots 32 people dead on campus of Virginia Tech university, Virginia, then kills himself.
Feb: Sulejman Talovic, 18, shoots dead five people and injures four at a mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, before being killed by police.

He was living with a friend's family in Bellevue, an Omaha suburb.

His friend's mother, Debora Maruca Kovac, told the Associated Press news agency that when he first came to live with them, "he was introverted, a troubled young man who was like a lost pound puppy that nobody wanted".

She said he phoned her about 1300 on Wednesday, telling her that he had left a note for her in his bedroom. She tried to get him to explain.

"He said, 'It's too late'," and then hung up, she told CNN.

The incident is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the US, which have reignited the debate in the US about gun ownership.

The Supreme Court will consider Americans' right to bear arms early next year for the first time in nearly 70 years.

OMAHA SHOOTINGS
map
The shootings took place inside the Von Maur department store at the Westroads Mall
Gunman Robert Hawkins began shooting from a balcony on the third floor of the central atrium before turning the gun on himself
Seven people died at the scene, a further two died later in hospital



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Shoppers and staff run out of the shopping mall



SEE ALSO
Gun rampage US teen 'wanted fame'
06 Dec 07 |  Americas
Omaha teen shooter 'had problems'
06 Dec 07 |  Americas
In pictures: Nebraska shootings
06 Dec 07 |  In Pictures
US Supreme Court ponders gun law
20 Nov 07 |  Americas

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