By BosNewsLife News Center

Town officials said suspect Jiverly Wong had recently lost his job. Via BBC News

NEW YORK, USA (BosNewsLife)– A gunman opened fire at an immigration center in Binghamton, in the northeastern state of New York, Friday, April 3, killing at least a 13 people before killing himself, US officials said.  The shootings apparently happened after he took at least 20 people as hostages.

New York Governor David Paterson told reporters that 12 or 13 people were killed in the shooting. The gunman carried identification that said he was Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Wong, 41. He used the alias Jiverly Voong, police said.

It was not immediately clear if the gunman was included in the death toll. His motive was not clear Friday, April 3.

There were also over a dozen injured, several of whom were rushed to  Wilson Medical Center and a another area hospital,  spokespersons said. Special police forces could be seen surrounding the complex in an attempt to end the hostage situation.

The local police command center said special teams entered to clear the building. “This is a horrible situation,” Governor David Paterson told reporters, shortly after the shootings began about 10:30 a.m. local time at the American Civic Services Center, which helps immigrants and refugees. ”

“An individual went into an American Civic Services Center, 135 Front Street, in Binghamton, and has killed 12 or 13 people,” added Paterson.”There’s no available data on what’s going on there other than the fact that lives have been lost,” he added.


New York remains always on edge, in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks and the latest shooting added to anxiety in the state. Binghamton is located some 140 miles (224 kilometers) from New York city.

As the drama unfolded, some people reportedly hid in the basement of the building and others in a cupboard. “About 15 or so employees of the Civic Association came out crying with their hands behind their heads and they were escorted by the police and they took them to ambulances and took them away,” a female witness told the local WNBF radio station.

The latest incident came amid mounting concerns over an increase in shooting incidents in the United States, including in churches, schools and community centers.


Last month,  on March 10, authorities grappled to find clues as to why   the  27-year-old Alabama man shot dead 10 people, including his mother, before killing himself after a gunbattle with police and a car chase down a rural highway.

Michael McLendon, who lived with his mother, killed five of his victims in the shooting spree at a mobile home in Samson, in southeastern Alabama.

Just two days earlier, Pastor Fred Winters of the sprawling First Baptist Church in the U.S. state of Illinois was shot during a Sunday worship service and soon died of his injuries. At least four other churchgoers were also wounded, but survived the attack in Maryville, about 20 miles (30 kilometers)  north-east of St Louis, Missouri, police said at the time.

The gunman, identified by authorities as a 27-year-old from Troy, pulled out a .45 caliber handgun “and shot Winters three times in the chest,” said Ralph Timmins of the Illinois State Police, who is handling the investigation.

In 2007 in one of the worst incidents, a student went on a gun rampage killing 32 people at Virginia Tech University, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Guns are widely available and the rights to own them are fiercely debated. (BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at key news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals at these strategic times).


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