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Up to 13 feared dead in NY state hostage-taking

Video by Nathan KING

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2009-04-03

A gunman has killed up to 13 people and taken dozens captive at an immigration centre in Binghamton, New York state, according to local media reports, which said two men had been led from the building in restraints.

A yet unidentified gunman killed up to 13 people and took up to 40 hostages in a building that cares for immigrants in the New York town of Binghamton.

 “A man burst into the American Civic Association with a long firearm around 10:30am local time,” reported FRANCE 24’s Nathan King. “He shot some people and maybe up to 40 remain inside the building.”

Some US media sources reported that up to 13 people were dead, citing federal officials. Local news reports said that at least six people were taken to medical centers in nearby Johnson City, one in critical and two in a serious condition.

Several hours into the terrifying standoff, police brought out two men with their hands secured behind their backs, local television and newspapers reported.

The Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin reported on their website that sharp shooters from the Binghamton SWAT team as well as a police bomb squad had been mobilized to the crime scene.

The same news source said two people were taken from the center with their hands cuffed behind their back.

The American Civic Association building is used to teach English and provide other services to recently immigrants to the United States who are preparing for U.S. citizenship.

The building is near downtown Binghamton, and according to King, is a well known landmark, surrounded by a lot of businesses and a local high-school.

Binghamton is about 240 km northwest of New York City with a population of about 45,000 and hosts one of the State University of New York’s largest campuses.

Bob Joseph, the news director for local WNBF radio, said in an interview with CNN that shooter had been described as a young man of Asian origins.

In March a man killed 10 people in a shooting rampage in Alabama.

On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech, a university in Blacksburg, Virginia, became the site of the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history when a student gunman killed 32 people and himself.
 

Date created : 2009-04-03

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