LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The mother of the 23-year-old gunman who killed five people in Santa Monica Friday released a statement expressing her “sadness” for the victims of the rampage.
Randa Abdou, who was visiting family in Lebanon at the time of the incident, related her comments through her neighbor, Beverly Meadows.
“I am in mourning for my family and for those who were also affected by this horrible tragedy over the past few days,” she said. “I cannot express my great sadness for the families who are also suffering at this terrible time. I ask the media please give me time to breathe and to come to grips with the overwhelming sorrow that has befallen all of us. Thank you.”
Abdou’s son, John Zawahri, is accused of killing his father, 55-year-old Samir, and his 25-year-old brother, Christopher, at their Yorkshire Avenue home before going on a shooting spree on city streets and at Santa Monica College, where he was enrolled as a student as recently as 2010.
He was eventually gunned down by police in the school’s library.
Meadows said Friday that Zawahri was abusive toward his mother.
“Her son, the younger one, is very, very strange,” she said. “Howling, screaming, would yell at her (un)mercifully. And he’s just…not right.”
Meadows added, “Useless human. Doesn’t work. Supposed to be going to school, but not really. He’s home all the time.”
Santa Monica police confirmed that the suspect was placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold when he was a minor.
A resource officer at Santa Monica High School said Zawahri threatened students and staff when he attended the school in 2006.
There were also multiple reports that Zawahri’s mental health problems may have stemmed from his parents’ messy divorce.