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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More