Mother of the man accused of shooting three Navy sailors in Woonsocket posts about her grief

The mother of the former Navy sailor accused of fatally shooting two fellow sailors and injuring three others at a Rhode Island shooting range has taken to social media to express her grief.

The woman spoke out on her Facebook page Tuesday, posting messages in the wake of the deadly shooting at the Cabela’s outdoor equipment store in Woonsocket, R.I. In texts sent two days prior to the mass shooting, she said her son, James D. Crowley, had been attending counseling, was having trouble concentrating and that she missed him.

“There’s so much sad news that I just can’t deal with I’m sorry I can’t do this but the best I can do right now is to grieve silently and ask God for the strength to help my son,” the mother wrote.

Police say Crowley, 25, killed two female sailors at the Cabela’s in a white Chevrolet Cruze after walking to the entrance and shooting at the ceiling with a handgun.

Two male naval officers in their 30s were wounded. The two men were released from the hospital Monday.

The mother said in the text messages that she and her husband were trying to “accept the tragic news” while praying for their son. She wrote that a Navy chaplain visited her home Sunday, saying that the chaplain’s role was to “take care of family.” The phone number for the Navy chaplain’s office rang unanswered.

On a separate page, she said: “Our son James needs our love and our prayers now more than ever.”

As the Post’s Meg James reported, Crowley enlisted in the Navy and served in Afghanistan until he was discharged as a petty officer third class in May 2012.

Crowley’s mother then served in the Navy from July 2007 to January 2011. She had two deployments to Iraq, mostly likely during 2007 and 2008, when she was assigned to a SEAL teams’ anti-terrorism unit. She wrote in her Facebook messages that she had seen her son once after his discharge.

“I told him I loved him and I was proud of him and so proud of him that I hoped to see him one day,” she wrote in her Facebook messages.

Crowley’s ex-wife, Sarah, posted about the shooting on Facebook, using the accounts for her daughter, Bailey K. Crowley, as well as Bailey’s boyfriend, Dylan O’Connor. As of Wednesday morning, the posts appeared to have been removed.

One of the Facebook messages posted by Sarah Crowley, including a picture of a Christmas tree and present under the title “Happy holidays,” said, “My baby & our new family have been through some terrible times in the past week, but we all hold our heads high & refuse to let our fate, sickness, or our circumstances hand us our fates. Our strength is like our faith & we have so much in common & LOVE everyone so much.”

The post includes a picture of a memento that the new parents got from Robinson, the sheriff’s office in New Hampshire.

A handgun and a semi-automatic rifle were recovered at the scene of the shooting. No law enforcement officials were shot, Woonsocket police said.

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