According to reports, a 42-year-old man opened fire at‚ an office of the American Civic Association building‚ where immigrants were taking a citizenship exam in downtown‚ Binghamtonon, N.Y., killing as many as 13 people before committing suicide.
Gov. David Paterson‚ said at a news conference that 12 or 13 people had been killed. The suspected gunman’s name‚ is an alias he has used in the past, said an official speaking‚ anonymously.
The suspect, Jiverly Voong, was shot dead. An official said the‚ gunman barricaded the rear door of the building with his car before entering through the front door, firing his weapon at will.
The gunman had recently lost his job from IBM in Johnson City, said‚ Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton.
“People were there in the process of being tested for their citizenship,” Hinchey said. “It was in the middle of a test. He just went in and opened fire.”
It is still unclear why the‚ gunman‚ decided to open fire at the center.
“One of the first questions is going to be, what motivated this?” said‚ Hinchey. “What caused this to happen? What was the kind of person who did it?”
The American Civic Association helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with naturalization applications, according to‚ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.‚ The association describes itself as helping immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement, citizenship,‚ family reunification‚ and translators.
Two women and a man suffering‚ gunshot wounds‚ were being treated at Wilson Medical Center in‚ Johnson City, said a hospital spokesperson. One was stable, one was serious and one was critical. Their ages ranged from 20s to 50s.
The shooting occurred in a mixed neighborhood of homes and small businesses in the center of Binghamton, a city of about 47,000 located 140 miles northwest of‚ New York City.