Thursday, December 06, 2007
Mall shooting means a tragic trip home
I'm sick today. Omaha is my hometown. To me, the city has always represented the best of society. Good public schools, a good place to raise a family, and safe streets.

When I heard about the mall shooting that's left nine people dead, I lobbied my bosses to come home.

Most of my family still lives here. And in a small tight knit community, such as Omaha, I felt like I would know folks who have been affected. Sure enough, my uncle called me first thing this morning. He was eating with his grandchildren at a restaurant in the mall when the shots rang out.

The Westroads Mall is an Omaha institution. It's pretty much where I did all my shopping as a kid. Believe me, it's one of the last places you'd ever expect a mass shooting.

This is my first CNN assignment where I haven't had to book a hotel. I'm staying at my mom's place.

It's good to be home, but it's a trip I'd rather not have taken.

--By Dan Simon, CNN Correspondent
Posted By CNN: 9:10 AM ET
  1 Comments
Hi Dan, when something earth-shattering like this happens, it really makes you reflect on your family's safety. These days, any city or town, no matter how safe it seems, is not immune to crime. The real question we have to ask ourselves is not, "How can we be safe?", but rather, "What drives people to commit these heinous crimes?" Until we find real answers and solutions to the root of the problem, complete and absolute safety is an illusion.

We've since learned that Mr. Hawkins was described as a "lost puppy that nobody wanted." Whatever you may think of him, we can all surmise that his troubled past had something, if not everything, to do with what he did.

I hope your hometown finds peace soon.

Thanks,
Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth : 2:39 PM ET
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