August 17th, 2010
10:25 PM ET

Mother of shooting suspect: My son was no monster

The mother of the man who gunned down eight of his colleagues at a beer distributor in Connecticut earlier this month says her son was "no monster," but a "gentle spirit" who had reached his limit after being racially harassed at work.

Omar Thornton, 34, called his mother, Lille Holliday, before fatally shooting himself, putting an end to the terrifying shooting spree that left eight people dead at Hartford Distributors in Manchester on August 3.

"He said, 'I just killed the five most racist people,' and I knew he wasn't playing because he don't talk like that," Holliday told CNN's Soledad O'Brien in an interview that aired Tuesday.

Holliday said when she looked at her caller ID and saw that the phone call was coming from her son's place of employment, "I just kind of lost it."


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Filed under: Connecticut • Crime
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Southern Belle

    Oh yeah, he's no monster. Just murdered people in cold blood....

    August 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dr britt

    Yeah that gentle spirit killed 8 people. I guess his mother and family think its justified since he was being harassed. Too bad somebody didnt pop his @ss when he started shooting.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. JarheadTribe

    Damn. I sure am curious to know what the violent men in this family are like, if this loser was the "gentle" one...

    August 18, 2010 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. Aviator

    'Not a mpnster'? Not a very competent thief, either. Got caught! "...he DON'T talk like that"??? Why not? Genetically semi-literate?

    August 18, 2010 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Nick Cirigliano

    Please Soledad, investigate these claims, no graffitti in bathrooms, no pictures on his cell phone, no paper with signatures, if the police, state and local, do not find anything but a thief on videotape, a telephone confession of premeditated murder, an exgirl friend speaking of the same racism claim against another company that was dismissed, how can you or any other media outlet allow anybody to spout these claims and tarnish the fine names and character of not only my brother, but the other 9 men shot and 7 that died that day.
    This needs to end and end now. We cannot find closure and start to heal if you allow this to continue.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. reaper


    August 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Love Over Hate

    Soledad O'Brien, I think your heart was in the right place by trying to some how explain to the victims family's why Omar Thorton did what he did. BUT without proof of the claims his mother stated in the interview, and his girl friend. It's very hard to take that interview seriously especially seeing that Omar killed all those people. I'm a Black man in America, and I use to experience racism "EVERY DAY" at the job when I worked for corporate America. Though I would feel anger towards those people, whites, and other ethnic groups for being so cruel, and disrespectful towards me. I NEVER EVER THOUGHT ABOUT KILLING THEM....NEVER!! I was raised in the church, and killing other human's whether they are evil or not is a no no in God's eyes PERIOD!! If Omar did expereince racism at the Bud Plant "WHICH I HAVE NO DOUBT HE DID". Despite what the people at the plant, and the authorities claimed. Those evil souls would have been dealt with through Karma eventually, and God would have handled them all accordingly. Taking his own life was also a no no, and if he was no monster like his mother claimed. His soul will be forever damned for this unforgivable sin, and God will punish him accordingly. This should be a lesson to all Black men who face racism in America. When Satan comes to visit you the way Omar was visited. Call your mother, a friend most of all "TALK TO GOD". BEG HIM TO HELP YOU MOVE PAST EVIL. If you have a problem with working for a racist company "JUST QUIT". This way when your time on earth here is done you will have a chance to be in good grace with your creator. Killing another soul whether it's evil or not is just not worth your soul. After this world we have so much more to look forward to. Black men dont allow evil to take that way from you!!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Father

    I am the father of a young black boy that has been a victim of racism. Apparently I most of taught him well, He would never think of committing such a crime. He was taught to forgive and feel sorry for those who are ignorant. As a teacher I have encountered black students who are racist. I would always ask them why, and I could not get an answer. I recently met a young black man who feels he was mistreated being arrested for assault and selling drugs I asked him why he felt mistreated, he said because he is black, I asked him why, he felt like that. He said because his mother told him he was arrested because he is black. I am praying that Ms. Holiday never taught her son to be racist, I am praying that in times of uncertainty in his life about people's feelings toward him, she only gave him confidence and pride in who he is and all he could have been. I am hoping that she filled his heart with love rather than hate. A love so strong that it could conquer hate. If Ms. Holiday did not fulfill what all mother's and father's should be fulfilling in their children then they too will have to answer to God such as this young man who took so many lives.

    August 20, 2010 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |