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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Omaha sniper shooting was racially motivated, prosecutor says

This is the case where a young woman, Brittany Williams, was shot and killed while she was waiting in a drive-through. Williams was black, and the suspect -- Kyle Bormann -- is white. The prosecutor says that, based on Bormann's statement after being arrested, the shooting was racially motivated. From the Omaha World-Herald:

Bormann, who had been drinking, mentioned being upset with the officiating in the New York Giants-Green Bay Packers NFC Championship game, Kleine said. Bormann said something about the officiating favoring the black players, Kleine said.

In a later interview at Central Police Headquarters, Bormann also described being "pissed" at black people but gave no specifics, Kleine said.

Kleine acknowledged that some of Bormann's comments in the interview were contradictory. At times, Kleine said, Bormann denied being racist or shooting Williams based on her race.

The defense attorney says his client isn't racist, and the prosecutor notes they haven't found any racist propaganda or affiliations at Bormann's house.

But the racial motivation could qualify as an aggravating circumstance, which would let prosecutors seek the death penalty.

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