Wonderland Wire

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Several Killed in New York Shooting

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3 Apr 09 | AJE

At least 12 people have been shot dead and dozens taken hostage at a centre providing aid to immigrants in the US state of New York.

The alleged gunman was later found dead in the building from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement officials told US media on Friday.

Heavily armed police, backed by commandos and FBI agents, swarmed into the area and surrounded the American Civic Association building in Binghampton, northern New York after the incident was reported.

The hostages later escaped or were released by mid-afternoon local time, media reports said.

“An individual went into an American Civic Services Center, 135 Front Street, in Binghamton, and has killed 12 or 13 people,” said David Paterson, the governor of New York state.

Five people with gunshot wounds were also being treated at Wilson Medical
Centre in Johnson City, said Christina Boyd, a hospital spokeswoman.

Earlier reports had said that two men were led away from the scene in handcuffs.

Hostage reports

A number of people escaped after a man reportedly entered the building in Binghamton, about 240 km northwest of New York city, and began shooting.

After opening fire the gunman held some of those present hostage inside the centre, reports said.

Reports said that some people 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 American Civic Association is an organisation that helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with citizenship applications, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Shooting incidents have become increasingly common in the US, where guns are widely available and the rights to own them are fiercely debated.

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.


Written by Editors

3 April 2009 at 4:18 pm

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