Ex-girlfriend: Suspect talked of doing 'something stupid'
Accused gunman reportedly sent text messages before rampage
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TACOMA, Washington (CNN) -- The ex-girlfriend of a man accused of going on a shooting spree at a Tacoma, Washington, mall Sunday said he called and sent her a text message before the rampage.
Six people were wounded, and three people were taken hostage before Dominick Maldonado, 20, turned himself in to authorities.
CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien spoke Monday with the former girlfriend, Tiffany Robison, about Maldonado's reported contacts with her on the day of the shootings.
O'BRIEN: You broke up with Dominick six months ago, and then on Sunday morning you get a phone call from him. What did he call you to say?
ROBISON: He called me to tell me that he was apologizing for being rude the past couple of months -- and to say that he's either going to a good place where good people go or a bad place where bad people go.
O'BRIEN: What did you take that to mean? Were you afraid by that? Were you concerned by that? Were you confused by that?
ROBISON: I was sleeping at the moment. So I was kind of baffled by it. I was like, "What do you mean? What are you talking about?" He was like, "I can't talk about it right now. I can't talk."
O'BRIEN: Were you concerned at that time that he might go off and [do] something, or did you sort of roll back, go over and go back to sleep?
ROBISON: It's a little bit of both. I wasn't concerned that he was going to go out and do something crazy. But I didn't understand what he was talking about.
O'BRIEN: Just a few minutes before the shooting at the mall began he sent you then a series of text messages. What essentially did he say in those text messages?
ROBISON: He sent me one text message, saying that the world is going to feel his anger, feel his pain, that today is the day that he's going to be heard.
O'BRIEN: And what did you make of that message when you got it?
ROBISON: I texted back, "What are you doing? What are you doing?" And he didn't respond.
O'BRIEN: What did you think then?
ROBISON: He's going to do something stupid.
O'BRIEN: You knew at that point that he ...
I just think that he had something going on, and it all built up, and finally he did what he did.
-- Tiffany Robison, ex-girlfriend of shooting suspect Dominick Maldonado
O'BRIEN: A couple of minutes later, a friend calls [and] said, "Hey, did you hear what is happening at the mall?" Did you know at that moment? Did you think at that moment that it was Dominick involved?
ROBISON: Yes, exactly. I was like, that was Dominick. Yes. Yes. And Dominick had called not even two seconds after being on the phone with my friend and said that he was -- he just shot up the Tacoma Mall, and he was holding people hostage in Sam Goody.
O'BRIEN: What did you say to him? I mean, he says, "I'm holding people hostage in a shopping mall." What did you say back?
ROBISON: It shocked me. I didn't exactly know how to respond to that. I was like, "What are you doing? What are you doing?" And he's like, "I'm crazy, I'm crazy, I can't do this, I'm crazy." And he's like, "I got to let you go, I'm on the other line with the police," and that was the end of that.
Police officers patrol the parking lot of the Tacoma Mall on Sunday after a gunman opened fire inside.
O'BRIEN: Did you ever think that he would do something like this?
O'BRIEN: Really? Why?
ROBISON: ... Because of the way he has talked in the past, the way he has thought, and he said he wanted to do something stupid. He didn't go into details. He didn't explain. He just had said that.
O'BRIEN: Was there something that precipitated it? I mean, do you know? Was there one event that led to this?
ROBISON: I couldn't tell you. This is quite random to me. I know that he was upset mentally, but that's not my place to judge. I just think that he had something going on, and it all built up, and finally he did what he did.
O'BRIEN: He was, according to The Seattle Times, convicted of burglary a while back and wasn't supposed to have weapons obviously at all. Do you know where he got this automatic rifle, the semiautomatic rifle?
ROBISON: I do not. I don't know where he got weapons. I never heard of him having a gun before.
O'BRIEN: You talked about problems in life. What kind of problems are you talking about with him?
ROBISON: Well, he had lost his father, and he's had normal human being problems that a lot of people deal with a little bit better.
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