Ottawa shooting: Mother of suspect says she is not crying for her son, but for the victims of the attack

Susan Bibeau expresses anger towards the man she had only seen once in five years

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The Independent US

The mother of the man who killed a soldier at Ottawa’s war memorial has said she is crying for the victims of the shooting, and not for her son.

Susan Bibeau’s son, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau,  shot a soldier dead in the Canadian capital before storming parliament and being shot dead himself.

“Can you ever explain something like this?” she asked. “We are sorry. If I’m crying it’s for the people, not for my son.”

In an email sent to the Associated Press news agency, Ms Bibeau wrote: “Hi, I am writing this note on behalf of my husband and myself. 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. We also wish to apologise for all the pain, fright and chaos he created. We have no explanation to offer.

“I am mad at our son, I don’t understand and part of me wants to hate him at this time. You write that our son was vulnerable, we don’t know, [he] was lost and did not fit in.

“I his mother spoke with him last week over lunch, I had not seen him for over five years before that. So I have very little insight to offer.

“We don’t wish to be part of any media circus, we don’t think it will add anything to the conversation. Please respect our privacy although many may not feel we deserve any... Once again we are so sorry.”

The Canadian news channel CTV News claimed Ms Bibeau is the deputy chair of the immigration committee at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Canadian police offered little information about the lone gunman and are yet to formally confirm his identity.

According to news reports, US officials claimed the man was a convert to Islam.

The attacks coincide with Canada’s announcement earlier this month that it would send six military jets to take part in air strikes against Isis fighters who have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.

The Canadian parliament’s Sergeant-at-Arms, who shot the gunman dead, has been hailed as a national hero this week. Kevin Vickers spotted the man as he was trying to storm a meeting room in which the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was, before shooting him dead.

Mr Vickers received a standing ovation as the parliamentary session began. Mr Harper and Canada’s opposition leader, Thomas Mulcair, left their places on facing benches to shake Mr Vickers’ hand.

Julian Fantino, a Canadian MP, said: “All the details are not in. But the Sergeant-at-Arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this. He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.”

As Sergeant-at-Arms, Mr Vickers is responsible for the safety and security of the parliamentary building.

As news of the shooting broke, Mr Vickers’ niece Erin told said that she believed it was the, “first time in his career that he’s shot anyone”.

She added: “We’re always very proud of Kevin, but at this moment we are concerned about him – he had to make a very serious decision today.

“He’s always a natural leader. He would not have taken this decision lightly, and I can’t stress that enough – but he would always expect of himself to do what he would expect of the men and women under him.”