Mall gunman Robbie Hawkins had threatened to kill people as long as five years ago and as recently as two weeks ago, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The day after he turned 14, Hawkins was sent to a group home after threatening to kill his stepmother, court records show. Two weeks ago, he threatened to kill a 16-year-old girl and her family after accusing her of stealing things from his car, the girl said yesterday. “He said, ‘I’m going to kill you, I am going to kill your family, and I’m going to burn your house down,’ ” she said. The girl, a neighbor, shrugged off the threat because Hawkins was known for “shooting his mouth off.” “I never really thought that he would follow through with something like this,” she said.
The World-Herald detaileed the trubled hildhood of the 19-year-old whose suicide ended Wednesday’s killing rampage. Hawkins was a foster child for about four years. He had been in the custody of his father when he became a foster child in 2002. Hawkins’ parents divorced when he was 3. Hawkins had been hospitalized twice for psychiatric problems before being admitted for “homicidal threats he made to his stepmother.” Four months later, he was made a state ward. The center’s staff said he should not be released. He stayed at a facility in Waynesville, Mo., for at least another month before moving to group homes and at least one foster home in Omaha. Hawkins’ father asked for help from his neighbor John Hubbard, a captain with the Douglas County Department of Corrections. Ronald Hawkins asked if Hubbard would take the youth on a tour of the jail to help set him straight. Hubbard said the jail has a policy against such tours.