Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Americas

Police probe New York civic centre rampage

Video by Olivia SALAZAR-WINSPEAR

Latest update : 2009-04-04

Police began investigating the murderous rampage at the American Civic Association in the New York town of Binghamton. The suspect, who killed at least 13 people, is reportedly a 41-year-old Vietnamese immigrant.

AFP -US police Saturday sought to uncover why a jobless immigrant snapped, going on a murderous rampage in the center where he learned English, mowing down 13 people before killing himself.
   
The bespectacled gunman at the heart of the tragedy in the quiet New York town of Binghamton was identified as Jiverly Voong, 41, of Vietnamese descent, who until early March had been taking classes at the American Civic Association.
   
Early Friday Voong, who had legally changed his name from Wong, donned body armor, blocked the center's back doors with his car and then burst into the front of the building in a hail of gunfire, police said.
   
Without uttering a word, Voong shot two receptionists, killing one, then strode into a classroom where an English lesson was being held and shot dead another 12 people, injuring three more, before turning the gun on himself, police chief Joseph Zikuski said.
   
The alarm was raised by the surviving receptionist, hailed as a hero by the police chief, who played dead after being shot in the stomach. She then crawled under her desk to call 911 on her cell phone.
   
She and the other three injured were Saturday still being treated in hospital. Two were in a critical condition.
   
The small community, 135 miles (215 kilometers) northwest of New York city, voiced shock Saturday at the outburst of violence, especially angered that it had happened at a center trying to help new immigrants chasing the American dream.
   
"That this tragedy should have happened in our community to our friends who only wanted to advance their knowledge and love of America is unbearable," the center's president Angela Leach told reporters as she fought back tears.
   
"Whatever drove this individual to do what he did, I cannot possibly fathom," she added, vowing to continue the center's work "to help people realize the dreams of American citizenship."
   
The names of the victims have not yet been released, but mayor Matthew Ryan said Binghamton authorities had had inquiries from nine countries and two consulates about the safety of their nationals.
   
Voong, who had a gun permit since the late 1990s, had recently lost his job at the Shop Vac assembly plant, which the New York Daily News reported had closed down in November.
   
"We picked up that apparently people were making fun of him. He felt he was being degraded because of... his inability to speak English. And he was upset about that," Zikuski said.
   
Police said they had interviewed the killer's parents and sister, with whom he shared a home in neighboring Johnson City.
   
"Obviously this investigation will focus a lot upon what the motive may have been. We may not ever come up with anything," Zikuski added.
   
But he did rule out any tie to terrorism, after a militant Taliban leader wanted by the Pakistani government claimed responsibility for the massacre.
   
It was the second mass shooting in less than a week in the United States, as the economic downtown claims more jobs and blights more lives.
   
On Saturday, a 23-year-old man shot and killed three policemen in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after apparently losing his job at a glass works.
   
Binghamton too has been hit by layoffs, with insurer AIG and computer giant IBM both cutting staff.
   
CNN reported that several years ago Wong had been employed at a hi-tech firm, Endicott Interconnect, which produces computer chips for medical equipment and where Wong had a supervisory role, training his co-workers.
   
President Barack Obama, speaking in Strasbourg on the sidelines of  NATO summit, said: "I am heartbroken for the families who survived this tragedy.
   
"It just underscores the degree to which in each of our countries, we have to guard against the kind of senseless violence that tragedy represents."
   
Friday's carnage is the latest incident to rock small-town America, where many fiercely defend the legal right to bear firearms, but which is also being hit by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
   
On Sunday, a heavily-armed man burst into a North Carolina nursing home, where his estranged wife worked, killing eight people before being shot and wounded by a policeman.
   
It also comes days before the second anniversary of a massacre at Virginia Tech -- the deadliest school shooting in US history in which 32 students and professors were shot dead by a student gunman -- and weeks before the 10th anniversary of the Columbine, Colorado school shooting.

Date created : 2009-04-04

COMMENT(S)