Gunman on shooting spree in New York, dozen killed

. 4/4/09

A lone gunman who shot dead at least 12 people and took 41 hostage after opening fire at the American Civic Association building in Binghamton, in the New York State on Friday morning, has been shot dead.

The gunman had opened fire at the American Civic Association building in Binghamton, about 220 km from New York City. The gunman fired at those gathered to take citizenship test. According to reports, the suspect, wearing a bright green jacket, entered the building and started shooting with a rifle.

Through hours of the hostage situation, there were reports of 12 to 13 people being killed, some hostages being periodically released or rescued and of two men, at least one of Asian descent, being taken into custody.

PTI adds:

"A dozen or more may have died," Bob Joseph, news director of local WNBF Radio in the small town of Binghamton, quoting sources.

Other reports said four were shot at the American Civic Association building, which helps new immigrants to the United States. Reports said the gunman opened fire during a citizenship test. They said an Asian man in his twenties who was taking citizenship test opened fire with an official indicating that a high-powered rifle may have been used in the attack.

Charles Kramer, Member City Council, said it was not a terror attack and that clearly there was one gunman who might have been mentally unstable.

Meanwhile, a local Binghamton news website reporting live from the site of the hostage incident quoted the police as saying that 13 people had been killed.

Before reports of the lone gunman being shot started filtering in, Pressconnects.com said two people had been taken from the American Civic Association building with their hands cuffed behind their back.

The website quoted police reports to say more than 40 hostages were in the building 15 in a closet and 26 in the boiler room. It said sharp shooters from the Binghamton SWAT team were poised outside the building at 131 Front Street and that a police bomb squad was also present at the scene.
Source: NDTV
Photo: AFP

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