Alexis’ mother, Cathleen Alexis, read a brief statement to reporters in response to her son’s murderous rampage Monday at the Navy Yard, saying she had no idea why he would do such a thing.
“Our son Aaron Alexis has murdered 12 people and wounded several others,” she said in the statement. “His actions have had a profound and everlasting effect on the families of the victims. 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 no longer do harm to anyone and for that I am glad. To the families of the victims I am so, so very sorry that this happened,” she said. “My heart is broken.”
That is exceptionally sad—and exceptionally admirable for its lack of excuses. I think almost everyone can sympathize with this woman, whose son appears to have been a mentally ill individual (probably schizophrenic) who turned violent. Most schizophrenics are not violent. But some are, and if they don’t seek treatment, or if treatment is ineffective, there is virtually nothing a family can do.
Except grieve, afterwards.