A man who opened fire in a crowded shopping mall with an assault rifle, wounding two people, seemed to have a "lurid fascination" with the Columbine High School (search) bloodbath, a prosecutor said Monday.
Robert Bonelli Jr. (search), 25, sent shoppers scrambling for safety Sunday after shooting his way into the Hudson Valley Mall (search), authorities said. He gave up after he ran out of ammunition and mall employees tackled him.
One of the victims, Thomas Haire, a 20-year-old National Guardsman assigned to a recruiting booth in the mall, was critically wounded, and authorities said he may lose a leg. A second man was not seriously hurt. Two other people had bullet holes in the legs of their pants.
Police searched Bonelli's room in nearby Saugerties that night found a cache of "Columbine memorabilia," District Attorney Donald Williams told The Associated Press.
The prosecutor would not give details on the items found in the house Bonelli shares with his father, but said they included news accounts and other information about the Colorado shooting spree by two students that left 15 dead in 1999.
"Information is being gathered that would demonstrate that the defendant had a lurid fascination with the April 1999 shooting," Williams said.
Bonelli was jailed without bail on assault and reckless endangerment charges and could get 25 years in prison.
A woman answering the phone at Bonelli's father's house declined to comment. His public defender did not immediately return a call.
Bonelli's father told Albany TV crews: "I do believe deep inside there's a good person crying out for help."
The mall reopened at midday Monday with crisis counselors available for employees. The electronics store where the shooting began was expected to stay closed for a couple of days.