News / USA

    Mother of Washington Navy Yard Gunman Apologizes to Victims

    This image released by the FBI shows a photo of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.This image released by the FBI shows a photo of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    x
    This image released by the FBI shows a photo of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    This image released by the FBI shows a photo of Aaron Alexis, who police believe was a gunman at the Washington Navy Yard shooting in Washington, Sept. 16, 2013.
    Reuters
    The mother of Washington Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis apologized to the victims on Wednesday, and like his friends and colleagues she was unable to offer clues on his motive for the shooting.
     
    “I don't know why he did what he did, and I'll never be able to ask him why. Aaron is now in a place where he can never do harm to anyone, and for that I am glad,” Cathleen Alexis said in an audio statement aired on MSNBC from her home in New York. “To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”
     
    All 12 victims, aged 46 to 73, were civilians caught up in the shooting spree on Monday morning by the former Navy reservist who was working as an information technology contractor at the military installation.
     
    Alexis was killed in a gun battle with police officers.
     
    As investigators tried to find out what set off Alexis, 34, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged there were “red flags” before Alexis received security clearance to work at the complex despite having a history of misconduct and mental health problems.
     
    “Obviously when you go back in hindsight and look at all this, there were some red flags - of course there were,” Hagel told a news conference. “And should we have picked them up? Why didn't we? How could we have? All those questions need to be answered.”
     
    Alexis had secret-level security clearance and entered the military installation with a valid pass.
     
    Outside of Washington, coffee chain Starbucks Corp. asked U.S. customers to leave their guns at home after being dragged into an increasingly fractious debate over gun rights. In a letter and a video presentation, Chief Executive Howard Schultz said the request was not a ban and not in response to the Navy Yard shooting, but nonetheless called it a “timely message.”
     
    The massacre, just a mile and a half (2.5 km) from the U.S. Capitol and three miles (five km) from the White House, was the latest in a series of shooting rampages that have shocked the United States in recent years and reopened debate about gun laws.
     
    Bought Shotgun in Virginia

    Alexis, who was a resident of Fort Worth, Texas, legally bought the 12-gauge Remington shotgun used in the rampage for $419 at the Sharpshooters Indoor Shooting Range and Pro Shop in Lorton, Virginia on Saturday, the store's lawyer, J. Michael Slocum said on Wednesday.
     
    Slocum said the store refused to sell Alexis a handgun.
     
    “He asked about buying a handgun but was told, no he couldn't buy a handgun because he's not a Virginia resident. At that point, he bought the shotgun,” Slocum said.
     
    He said Alexis rented an AR-15 assault rifle and fired it at a store shooting range, and then bought the shotgun along with two boxes of ammunition. According to store employees, he did not ask to buy an AR-15, Slocum said.
     
    Alexis brought a shotgun into the Naval Sea Systems Command building and grabbed at least one handgun once inside, investigators said, opening fire from the fourth floor atrium on helpless victims in a cafeteria below.
     
    Investigators have a “working theory” that Alexis arrived at the building with the shotgun barrel removed, entered a men's room with his bag or backpack, and assembled it, according to a source close to the investigation.
     
    The shooting was the worst at a military facility since 2009 when 13 people were killed and 31 wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, by an army psychiatrist who later said he carried out the shootings because of U.S. wars in Muslim countries.
     
    Alexis had been arrested twice, once in 2004 and again in 2010, for illegally discharging firearms, though in each case charges were not pursued.
     
    Police in Newport, Rhode Island, had warned the U.S. Navy last month that Alexis had called them to report “hearing voices” while in Newport on business, behavior odd enough that  police sent a copy of the report to Navy officials.
     
    The Navy said it was looking into the Rhode Island incident.

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora