Father of gunman in Chattanooga is “devastated” and apologizes

Women who came with others from the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga to offer their support hug outside after an interfaith vigil at Olivet Baptist Church held in remembrance of victims of the July 16 shootings on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The vigil was held one day after gunman Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four U.S. Marines and wounded two others and a Chattanooga police officer at the Naval Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway shortly after firing into the Armed Forces Career Center on Lee Highway. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press/TNS)
Caption
Women who came with others from the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga to offer their support hug outside after an interfaith vigil at Olivet Baptist Church held in remembrance of victims of the July 16 shootings on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Chattanooga, Tenn. The vigil was held one day after gunman Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed four U.S. Marines and wounded two others and a Chattanooga police officer at the Naval Operational Support Center on Amnicola Highway shortly after firing into the Armed Forces Career Center on Lee Highway. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press/TNS)

Credit: Doug Strickland

Credit: Doug Strickland

The father of the gunman in Thursday’s fatal shootings here called the head of the local mosque, apologized and told him he was “shocked” by what had happened.

“He was in the dark on what his son has done,” Bassam Issa, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, told reporters Friday. “He is very devastated and he actually apologized for what his son did to the community at large and to the Muslim community.

“And I told him that we all feel distraught — we all feel shocked — and to basically pray to God that we all as one community come together.”

Issa did not identify the father but said he regularly worships at the mosque.

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