Skip to comments.Binghamton Bloodbath: 14 Dead in Citizenship Massacre ( "I Don't Like America. America Sucks." )
Posted on 04/04/2009 8:29:31 AM PDT by bimboeruption
A portrait of an angry, isolated man is beginning to emerge of Jiverly Wong, the shooter who is believed to have killed 13 victims before turning the gun on himself at a civic center for new immigrants in Binghamton, New York on Friday.
Voong was the "kind of guy who would come in mad one day and shoot people," said Kevin Greene, who described himself as a former co-worker of the alleged shooter at a Shop Vac assembly plant that had since closed, the New York Daily News reported.
A string of attacks in the U.S. in the last month left 44 people dead in all.
A gunman killed 10 people and himself in Samson, Ala.; shootings that began with a traffic stop in Oakland, Calif., left four police officers and the gunman dead; an apparent murder-suicide in Santa Clara, Calif., left six dead; and a gunman went on a rampage at a nursing home Sunday, killing seven elderly residents and a nurse who cared for them.
Greene said that he had asked Voong -- who he knew as Jiverly Wong -- whether he liked the New York Yankees.
"He said, 'No, I don't like that team. I don't like America. America sucks," Greene said, adding that Voong's penchant for guns was well known and that the alleged killer often practiced shooting at range.
On Saturday, Binghamton's Police Chief Joseph Zikuski told NBC's "Today'' show that people "degraded and disrespected'' the gunman -- believed to be a Vietnamese immigrant -- over his poor English. Mayor Matthew Ryan told ABC's "Good Morning America'' he was angry about his language issues and his lack of employment.
An 'act of senseless violence'
The 42-year-old gunman shot himself to death after the bloody rampage that critically wounded four others and shattered the peace of a small business center in downtown Binghamton, sending shockwaves as far as Europe, where President Barack Obama called it an "act of senseless violence."
Obama, speaking from Germany, said he and Michelle Obama were praying for the victims and their families.
Closer to home, the New York Governor expressed "outrage" over what he called "the worst tragedy and senseless crime in the history of this city."
"I speak for all of New York when I offer my prayers for the victims and families of this tragedy," New York Gov. David Paterson said hours after the bloodbath that was meticulously planned and executed.
Police sources said they believe the killer to be Jiverly Voong, 42, of Johnson City, N.Y., who was found dead in an office of the American Civic Association, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
"It was just panic," said Alex Galkin, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, who was taking English classes when the shots rang out. He ran to the basement with a group of people to escape the chaos.
Sources said Jiverly is an alias that the suspect has used in the past. Cops searched his home Friday evening and carried out evidence that included three computer hard drives, a brown canvas rifle case, a briefcase, a small suitcase and several paper bags.
"Among the dead is a male victim who has a satchel around his neck that has ammunition," said Binghamton Police Chief Joe Zikuski. "We have very good reason to believe that the shooter is among the dead. We have no idea what the motive is."
Zikuski said the dead suspect was "known" to the center. Rep. Maurice Hinchey said the gunman had recently been let go from a job at IBM but NBCnewyork has learned that Voong had never worked at the computer giant.
Law enforcement sources said it wasn't clear what sparked the massacre.
A woman who identified herself as Jiverly Voong's sister said she did not think he was the shooter and insisted he may have been a victim.
"He didn't have a gun. I think somebody involved, not him. I think he got shot by somebody else," said the woman, who refused to give her name. "I think there's a misunderstanding over here because I want to know, too."
As authorities worked to identify the victims, they offered few details on how the killer executed his deadly plan.
Before his rampage, the shooter pulled a car up to the back door of the facility at about 10:30 a.m. to block a key escape route. He then entered the building through the front door.
"It obviously was premeditated. He was making sure nobody could escape," Zikuski said.
The hero receptionist
The shooter first wounded two receptionists, a male and a female, at the center's front desk. The female, now in critical condition, pretended she was dead to fool the shooter, then ducked underneath her desk to make the 911 call that alerted police.
Zikuski, the police chief, said she stayed on the phone for 90 minutes, "feeding us information constantly," despite a serious wound in the abdomen.
"She's a hero in her own right," he said.
The other receptionist died from gunshot wounds, Zikuski said.
The shooter then entered an adjacent room, where dozens of potential citizens were gathered to take an exam, and continued to fire . Most of the test-takers could barely speak English, Zikuski said.
Police showed up within two minutes of the receptionist's call - and about a minute after cops arrived, the shooting stopped. Officers were in constant contact with those inside the building, instructing them on how to build barricades to keep the shooter out.
SWAT teams spent several hours clearing the building and escorted dozens of people out safely, Zikuski said. Cops also rescued 26 visitors who had locked themselves in the basement of the center.
Zikuski said officials don't know how many bullets were fired or how long the gunman shot, but that they'll continue to question survivors for information about the shooting.
Officers recovered two handguns from the scene, Zikuski said.
"An examination was being given for...immigrants to become Americans," Vice President Joe Biden said. "I ask you to keep these folks in your prayers. We've got to figure out a way to deal with this senseless, senseless violence."
Center staff 'stricken with grief'
The American Civic Association is an organization that helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with naturalization applications, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Mary Pat Hyland, a teacher at the center, told MSNBC that many of the immigrants who frequented the association were from Vietnam and Laos.
"We have a very diverse ethnic area," Hyland said.
"This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families," Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in a joint statement Friday afternoon.
The area is in a stretch on the west side of the Chenango River in the city of about 45,000 near the Pennsylvania border. Emergency vehicles lined the streets in the neighborhood which is a mix of homes and small businesses.
The association describes itself as helping immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification and translators.
The association's president, Angela Leach, "is very upset right now," said Mike Chanecka, a friend who answered a call at her home as Leach wept in the background.
"She doesn't know anything; she's as shocked as anyone," Chanecka said. "For some reason, she had the day off today. And she's very worried about her secretary."
Later on Friday night, center officials said in a statement they were "stricken with grief about today's horrific assault and share this grief with the victims' families, our community and the entire nation."
"He said, 'No, I don't like that team. I don't like America. America sucks," Greene said, adding that Voong's penchant for guns was well known and that the alleged killer often practiced shooting at range. "
NOTICE TO ALL WHO HATE AMERICA BUT CONTINUE TO LIVE HERE AND SUCK UP THE BENEFITS WHILE NOT MAKING ANY POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO OUR GREAT COUNTRY:
If he’d only instead gone to Wisconsin and shot deer hunters he might have garnered some sympathy.
“I don’t like America. America sucks,”
...and these guys are in charge now.
That comment is sick.
Oh, a Democrat.
I watched that case on CourtTV.
I was surprised by the large number of mungs in that area.
The shooter has been officially absolved of all guilt by the Binghampton Police Chief. Woo hoo! In fact, there will be some HATE CRIME arrests in town very soon. Chief Zikuski is going to get to the bottom of who victimized this poor, innocent, immigrant from Vietnam.
Move along, nothing to see here . . .
It is getting hard to go into state and federal buildings, churches, and liberal owned malls, since they are kill zones for the mentally deranged.
Sounds very similar to the stats that emerged from the south side of Chicago one month last summer.
I know it's not related, but what did BHO promise to spread to the rest of the country?
You just try it, joe.
Exactly! A thousand guns thrown into the building wouldn’t have hurt anyone. And he could have killed many ways if he was that determined. He could have set the place on fire. Guess it would have been the fault of the matches and gasoline then?
Some in our society have gone to LUDICROUS lengths to excuse evil by blaming inanimate objects used to kill.
Ya know, the libs are being unusually quiet about this shooting.
I wonder why they're not screaming about gun control?
This from the chief of a police department that did this (from another article):
"Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers."
"He said, 'No, I don't like that team. I don't like America. America sucks,"
That looks like a Yankees logo to me.
This guy sounds like Barak Obama.
They didn’t want to get their SWAT uniforms soiled like
the officers at Columbine!
actually you apparently need to keep up better and you might have recognized the context of my comment.
several years ago a Mung tribesman hunter in the woods of Wisconsin went looney over his deer stand and murdered several round eye hunters in cold blood.
he actually found sympathy from the PETA types and their fellow travelers on the left and in the media
poor little misunderstood immigrant and all that