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Mother of Navy Yard shooter: 'I don't know why he did it'

WASHINGTON — The mother of Aaron Alexis said Wednesday that she does not know why her son opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people, but she is glad he can no longer hurt anyone else.

Cathleen Alexis read a brief statement Wednesday inside her New York home, her voice shaking. She did not want to appear on camera and did not take questions from a reporter.

"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," Cathleen Alexis said. "To the families of the victims, I am so so very sorry that this has happened. My heart is broken."

Although his motive remains unknown, law enforcement officials and others have described a paranoid man who heard voices and believed he was being followed. At a Rhode Island hotel recently, he heard voices harassing him, wanting to harm him. He couldn't sleep. He believed people were following him, using a microwave machine to send vibrations to his body. He changed hotels once, then again. But he called police and told them he couldn't get away from the voices.

On Aug. 7, police alerted officials at the Newport Naval Station about the naval defense contractor's call. But officers didn't hear from him again.


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