Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey addressed the Westroads shootings this morning saying, "There are no words to adequately express our feelings this morning."
The mayor said this is one of the most horrific events to ever happen in the state. He expressed condolences to the families of the victims.
"The impact of this event is being felt far outside of Omaha," he said.
The victims have been identified as:
Gary Sharf, 4-5-59, customer from Lincoln
John McDonald, 4-18-42, customer from CB
Angie Schuster, 2-14-71, employee
Maggie Webb, 12-19-82, employee
Janet Jorgensen, 6-22-41, employee
Diane Trent, 1954, employee
Gary Joy, 3-12-57, employee
Beverly Flynn, 1-28-60, employee
Shooter Robert Hawkins, 5-17-88
Fred Wilson, 9-28-46, employee - Critical but stable condition
Michelle Oldham, 10-7-42, employee - Critical but stable condition
Jeff Schaffart, 10-30-73, customer - Treated and Released
Brad Staffert, 1952, customer
The fifth victim injured was not identified.
Governor Dave Heineman was also on hand for the news conference. He said he was shocked by the incident and ordered flags in the state to be flown at half staff in memory of the victims.
The governor thanked the people of the state for pulling together during this tragedy.
He said, "I believe that pulling together to help one another is what we do best as Nebraskans."
Robert Hawkins opened fire at the Von Maur store in the Westroads Mall on Wednesday afternoon. He killed eight people and then shot himself to death.
The victims ranged in age from 24 to 66. Six of them were employees of Von Maur. Five women and four men died, including Hawkins. It was Nebraska's deadliest rampage since Charles Starkweather's 1958 killing spree.
Von Maur president, Jim Von Maur, said Von Maur is deeply saddened by the shooting and said, "we continue to pray for the victims."
Police Chief Thomas Warren said officers are still processing the crime scene. He says police believe that Hawkins stole the AK-47 rifle from his step-father.
The chief says, "We believe that there were probably in excess of 30 rounds fired."
The chief said, "It doesn't appear there was much conversation between the suspect and the victims. It appeared very random and the duration of the event lasted only a few minutes."
The mayor says he will be working with police to discuss what can be done to improve security at Omaha malls for the remainder of the holiday season.
Chief Warren says there were no off-duty police officers on duty at Westroads during the incident but patrols will increase throughout the holidays.
The chief says Hawkins walked into the main entrance of Von Maur on the second floor, left the building and then returned six minutes later. The shooting began shortly afterward.
Governor Heineman said state records indicate that Hawkins became a ward of the state on September 17, 2002 and custody was terminated in 2006.