updated 1/1/2008 6:23:56 PM ET 2008-01-01T23:23:56

Only an anti-anxiety medication turned up in toxicology tests done on the body of the 19-year-old gunman who fatally wounded eight people before killing himself last month at a shopping mall.

The autopsy report on Robert Hawkins revealed diazepam in his system. The tranquilizer is better known by its market name, Valium.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine told the Omaha World-Herald in a copyright story Tuesday that authorities sometimes "see people who have abused drugs or alcohol to give them the ability to carry out their misdeed."

"In this case," Kleine said, "it doesn't appear he had abused either." His blood revealed only therapeutic levels of the medication.

The autopsy report also said Hawkins killed himself Dec. 5 by a single shot from his assault rifle from under his chin.

Before committing suicide, Hawkins went into the Von Maur store at Westroads Mall and took an elevator up to the third floor. There he opened fire, fatally wounding eight people. Five other people were hit by bullets or bullet fragments, injuring two seriously.

Investigators will try to find out whether Hawkins had a prescription for the Valium, Kleine said.

Diazepam is often given to people who have anxiety attacks or insomnia, said Dr. Todd Stull, director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center's drug and alcohol program.

"It's a calming kind of medicine," Stull said. "A lower dose can help with anxiety."

People can get high on it, he said, but "it's not a very common addiction."

Court records and friends say Hawkins regularly smoked marijuana, but Kleine said there was no evidence of it or any other drugs in his blood.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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