TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man accused in a shooting spree at a crowded shopping mall sent a text message to his ex-girlfriend minutes before the rampage, saying: “Today is the day the world will know my anger,” the woman said yesterday.
Dominick Sergio Maldonado, 20, opened fire with an assault rifle at the Tacoma Mall and took three persons hostage in a music store, authorities said. Six persons were hurt, one critically, before Mr. Maldonado surrendered to authorities.
Tiffany Robison, Mr. Maldonado’s former girlfriend, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he sent the message shortly before noon Sunday.
“I think, honestly, that he just wanted attention. It’s the sick attention that he wanted,” Miss Robison said. The couple broke up months earlier “because of an issue with a drug,” she said.
She said Mr. Maldonado also contacted her during the standoff. “He called me and said he just shot up the Tacoma Mall and he’s in the Sam Goody taking hostages,” Miss Robison said.
Court documents released yesterday show that Mr. Maldonado phoned authorities shortly before the Sunday rampage and told them he was armed and about to start shooting. Asked where he was, he replied, “Just follow the screams.”
Plans for making bombs and poison gas were found after a search of the man’s car and bedroom, prosecutors said.
Bret Strickler, who said he was Mr. Maldonado’s best friend, told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that he received a text message saying, “The world will feel my anger,” during the time authorities say Mr. Maldonado was holding hostages.
Mr. Maldonado, who surrendered to police after a four-hour standoff, was booked into the Pierce County Jail on six counts of assault and three counts of kidnapping, and was being held on $450,000 bail.
Court records show Mr. Maldonado has an extensive juvenile criminal history dating to 1998.
Six persons were taken to hospitals, most with minor injuries, said Tacoma Fire Department Deputy Chief Jon Lendosky. One person remained in critical condition yesterday at Tacoma General Hospital, spokesman Todd Kelley said.