"Today is the day that the world will know my anger. Today the world will feel my pain. Today is the day I Will Be Heard," was the text message Dominick Maldonado's ex-girlfriend said she received at 11:58 a.m. Sunday. According to police, after sending that message, Maldonado headed to a Tacoma, Wash., mall where he shot at patrons.
Six people were injured, including one who is in critical condition.
Maldonado allegedly took at least three hostages in the record store Sam Goody. The hostages said the suspect stopped to take a nap and tied bells around their necks so if they moved, the ringing would wake him up.
Maldonado called his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Robison, while he was in Sam Goody with the hostages, she said.
"He said, 'I can't do this'," she said. "I'm crazy, I'm crazy."
The standoff lasted four hours. SWAT teams eventually moved in and took Maldonado, who was wearing a tie, into custody.
"I think that honestly he just wanted attention," said Robison, whose stepsister was at the mall and saw Maldonado draw the gun.
He certainly got the attention Robison said he craved.
"I turned around and I saw a man down the way running backwards shooting," a witness, Stacey Wilson, said.
"I felt the concussion from the gunfire and immediately took cover under a table," another witness, Dale Thomas, said.
Robison had a bad feeling about Maldonado's state of mind when he called her at 7 a.m. Sunday to tell her that "he's always cared for me and he's sorry," she said. "He's either going to a good place where good people go or a bad place where bad people go," Maldonado told her.
Robison said she ended her five-month relationship with Maldonado, 20, six months ago when he began using a drug that altered his state of mind. She believes that the drug, which she did not name, played a role in the shooting.
"I'm shocked," Robison said. "But at the same time I am not again. It's Dominick. It's a crazy thing. He's always talking crazy."