A day after laying his son to rest, Aaron Driver’s father says he has love for his son but hate for what he did.
The 24-year-old terror suspect was killed by gunfire in a high-stakes take-down on a residential street in Strathroy last Wednesday.
On Friday, Wayne Driver spoke on AM980’s The Andrew Lawton Show about feeling conflicted over knowing the family did all they could but wondering “why”.
“Why did you go so far? Why did you have to do this? Why didn’t you reach out for help?” Wayne begins.
“Everybody tried to reach out apparently even the folks from the mosque tried to de-radicalize him, if you will. They befriended him, we reached out to him. I guess he got to a certain point there was nothing we could do or say to change his mind.”
His son had been living with his sister and her family in Strathroy. Driver notes that his daughter is taking the loss of her brother very hard.
“He was very kind and gentle to the family, to the children, especially one of the younger girls. He had a special bond with her and she too is taking this very hard. Aaron did have a good side to himself towards those that he loved but a hate on for the world and a hate on for the Western world in general. I cannot understand that. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that.”
When asked what advice he’d give to other parents, he admitted he never could’ve guessed he’d end up in this situation, but he encourages parents to monitor what their children are up to online.
“I feel that I should’ve pried a little more. I should’ve made it my business because it was going on under my roof. You want to respect their privacy especially when they’re an adult but it’s my house, my rules, so to speak. I should’ve been a little firmer – if you don’t like it then there’s the door. Should’ve been a little more tougher love there, and perhaps we would’ve been able to get him help sooner,” he began.
“In some respects I feel like I was harbouring a criminal because it was going on under my roof and I was unaware. That’s the part that I’m mad at. I’m mad at him for going down that road. It was all unknown to myself. I should’ve been more forceful in knowing what he was actually up to.”
As for the Muslim community, he stresses that he understands his son was radicalized.
“I’ve read the Qur’an and for the most part it is a loving, peaceful religion. I respect their views. I’m an intern pastor myself in Christianity. We all have our radicals, right? I mean, what were the Crusades about? Every religion has their fundamental beliefs and everybody has their radicalization, brainwashing if you will. And I don’t think that’s what the Muslim community is all about. I don’t think they’re there to brainwash anybody. I think they just want to live in harmony with the rest of us.”
Driver says his son left a note for the family, which mentioned that he loved them all and doesn’t expect them to understand, but he said he would not be sharing exactly what was written.
The entire interview is available below: