The mother of a defense contractor who gunned down 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard apologized Wednesday on behalf of her son.
"To the families of the victims, I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken," Cathleen Alexis said in a statement that she read from her Brooklyn, New York, home.
Her son Aaron Alexis opened fire Monday at the tightly guarded Washington Navy Yard, for which he had a valid entry pass, according to the FBI.
He eventually died in a shootout with police at the giant compound in the heart of the US capital.
"Aaron is now in a place where he can no longer do harm to anyone, and for that am glad," Cathleen Alexis said.
"I don't know why he did what he did, and I'm never going to be able to ask him why."
Two days after the shooting, officials were still searching for answers as to why the 34-year-old, a former sailor with a history of disciplinary problems and brushes with the law, went on the rampage.
They also questioned how he had been granted a security clearance.
Media reports have suggested that Alexis was delusional, but Pentagon officials could not confirm if he suffered mental health problems.
Cathleen Alexis told CNN that she hasn't been able to leave her home since Monday afternoon. The family has remained mostly silent on the shooting thus far.
In the wake of the incident, US President Barack Obama has called once again on Congress to act on stalled gun reform measures.
© AFP 2013