Friday, December 7, 2007

The Omaha Shooter

He left a suicide note--a troubled kid who sounds like he was very depressed. But there were a number of opportunities to step in and cut him off at the pass:
Also Friday, those who knew Hawkins most recently in suburban Bellevue said they tried to warn police about his behavior but got no response.

A man who lived nearby said he went to police a month ago to report his and other parents' concerns that Hawkins and his friends had easy access to guns, sold drugs and smoked pot with an adult.

Bellevue police said the house where Hawkins lived is in an unincorporated part of the city and not in their jurisdiction. Police Chief John Stacey would not talk about Kevin Harrington's complaint, but said normally officers pass complaints from that neighborhood onto the Sarpy County Sheriff.

Sheriff's officials said they never received the complaint.

Harrington, 45, said he told police in Bellevue about a month ago that one of Hawkins' friends offered to sell Valium to his 13-year-old son. Harrington said he also told police that Hawkins had previously shot at a car during a drug deal gone bad.

"We told them about the drugs, we told them about the guns, and nothing was done," Harrington said.
Oh yeah, this kid had a reason for what he was doing--and the news media have done their very best to accommodate him:
"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."

Hawkins added, "I love you mommy. I love you dad," and expressed love for several other people. He told them to remember the good times they had.

"Just think tho I'm gonna be (expletive) famous," he wrote.
This is not the first time that this has been a problem, as this Journal of Mass Media Ethics paper of mine some years ago pointed out.

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