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Six Months Later, Motive in Mall Shootings Unknown

Six Months Later, Motive in Mall Shootings Unknown

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Six months after a shooting spree, police probably will never know what motivated an 18-year-old man to kill five people at a shopping mall. "It think it may have died with him," Police Chief Chris Burbank told the Deseret Morning News in a copyright story Monday.

Sulejman Talovic, a Bosnian immigrant, killed five people and injured four others before dying in a shootout with police Feb. 12 at Trolley Square.

Burbank said a report on the investigation is finished but won't immediately be released. It will be used in the federal prosecution of four people charged with crimes related to the two firearms used by Talovic.

Burbank said the report does not reveal much new information. Tests showed Talovic was not using drugs at the time. Salt Lake City police interviewed people who knew Talovic, examined the guns and tried to trace his short history in the United States and Bosnia. "It's a hard one for even the detectives to come to grips with," Burbank said. "There just isn't any indicators of why he did what he did."

It's possible that his violent childhood in war-torn Bosnia prompted him to kill, the chief said. "I think he had seen a lot of situations where human life had been devalued, and that's exactly the attitude it appears he had when he walked into Trolley Square," Burbank said.

Talovic was 10 when he arrived in the United States. He didn't finish high school and was working for Aramark Uniform Services, rolling clean mats for businesses, at the time of the massacre.


Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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