The parents of the Ottawa attack gunman described him Thursday as a misfit who had been adrift for years. "I am mad at our son," Susan Bibeau wrote in a statement to the Associated Press on behalf of herself and her husband Bulgasem Zehaf. "I don't understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time."
The couple's 32-year-old son, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, has been identified as the shooter who killed a Canadian solider at a war memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday and then ran through the halls of Parliament before being shot dead by a heroic sergeant-at arms. The motive for the attack is unknown, but Zehaf-Bibeau was recently designated a "high-risk traveler" by the Canadian government, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.
His parents' statement offered apologies but no answers.
"No words can express the sadness we are feeling at this time. We are so sad that a man lost his life. He has lost everything and he leaves behind a family that must feel nothing but pain and sorrow. We send our deepest condolences to them although words seem pretty useless. We are both crying for them," they wrote.
"We also wish to apologize for all the pain, fright and chaos he created. We have no explanation to offer."
Asked whether the gunman was mentally unstable, the mother revealed that she had not seen him for five years before a lunch last week. "You write that our son was vulnerable, we don't know, (he) was lost and did not fit in," the statement said.
— Alexander Smith