Navy Yard gunman’s mother apologizes to victims’ families


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

Photo courtesy of FBI
Photo courtesy of FBI

The mother of a Queens native who went on a shooting rampage, killing a dozen people at a Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., apologized to the victims and their families in the days following the massacre.

Cathleen Alexis told media that she didn’t know why her son Aaron did what he did — and that she was sorry for his actions.

“Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone and for that I am glad,” Alexis said. “To the families of the victims, I am so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken.”

The FBI identified Aaron Alexis, 34, formerly of Flushing, as the gunman in the mass shooting, which began at about 8:20 a.m. on Monday, September 16 at the Washington Navy House.
Authorities confirmed 13 people died, including Alexis, and several more were injured.

Alexis entered Building 197 at the Navy Yard with a legally-bought shotgun, FBI officials said, using a legitimate pass as a result of his work as a Navy civilian contractor. He then gained access to a handgun inside the facility after he began shooting.

Alexis fired on workers in the cafeteria and hallways before he was killed, according to reports. Cops have ruled out additional gunmen and said that Alexis acted alone. Officials are still investigating his motives in the shootings.

“Our Evidence Response Teams remain at the Navy Yard and continue to process the scenes,” said Valerie Parlave, FBI Washington assistant director in charge. “This is a methodical and time-intensive process that includes bullet trajectory analysis and crime scene mapping.”

The FBI is also busy talking to people who have connections with Alexis and going to places around the country where he has been, which include Seattle and Fort Worth, Texas and Brooklyn, where his family lives. He most recently started staying in a Residence Inn in the southwest region of Washington, D.C., according to the FBI.

He worked for the Navy as a civilian contractor from IT company The Experts and was in the Navy reserves from 2007 to 2011, the Navy confirmed.

Alexis was suffering from paranoia and was seeing mental health professional, reports said, and he once called police while in Rhode Island to say that he was hearing voices and being pursued.

Alexis had been arrested twice in connection with gun charges, once in 2004 and another time in 2010, but was not prosecuted either time, according to reports. In the incident in 2004 he shot out the tires of a construction worker’s car in an anger-fueled “blackout.”

 

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