amyjudd, thanks for getting this story out so quickly. It will now show up on the home page for four hours. If new developments justify it, I'll renew this flag for another cycle.
Binghamton, New York Shooting Leaves 14 Dead
There has been a multiple shooting in Binghamton, New York, where as many as 14 people may have been killed, including the gunman — and up to 40 people were trapped in the American Civic Association building, in a hostage situation.
5:06pm EST - Press conference about the shooting. Most of the victims were immigrants and the police have a lot more investigation to do. There is profound sadness and sorrow for what happened. The victims were all people who wanted to become part of 'The American Dream' and now that has been lost.
Rep. Maurice Hinchley spoke about how they have had conversations with President Obama and he and Mrs. Obama give their deepest sympathies about what happened. He spoke about his admiration for the Binghamton police department.
Chief Joseph Zikuski: the police received a 911 call at 9:30am this morning from a woman saying she had been shot and police responded within two minutes. There were no more shots fired after this time. It took the SWAT several hours to clear the area, and it is thought that the lone gunman entered the building, shot the receptionist, then went into a room off the main area and shot several more people.
Among the dead is a male victim who has a satchel around his neck with ammunition in it, and two hand guns were also found on the property. The shooter is thought to be among the dead. If the shooter is who the police think it is, then he would have borrowed a vehicle from someone. The suspect had however, recently been fired frm IBM in Johnson City.
The police have a description of the shooter and they still have to determine who this description may fit.
37 people were safely from the building, 14 were killed and 5 were wounded. There was one survivor who the police think is the only one who got a look at the shooter. From what the police know, the shooter did not say anything when he entered the building.
The New York Emergency Alert System was put in place around the American Civil Association.
3:57pm EST - Police have obtained a search warrant for the shooter's home and are on their way over there to search his house.
Bingham High School is no longer on lockdown and parent are able to pick up their children from school.
Some reports claim that 15 are dead. It is now confirmed that the shooter took his own life:
two weapons have been found. According to one police report a 9 millimeter pistol was recovered as SWAT team officers entered the building.
The two Asian men that were escorted from the building earlier were not involved and have been released.
3:43pm EST - A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that 13 people were shot dead and 26 wounded.
A press conference will be held at 4:30pm EST.
Governor David Paterson called it a "tragic day for New York".
03:32pm EST - New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has released a statement:
"On behalf of the Assembly, I offer our sympathy and our prayers for the victims of this tragedy and for their families. We commend our courageous law enforcement officers for their swift and decisive actions in responding to this attack," the statement read.
03:27pm EST - Vice President Joe Biden said at a press conference that up to 13 had died in a mass shooting in New York and asked everyone for their prayers.
03:06pm EST — CNN is now reporting that the gunman is among the dead and that all of the alive people in the building have now been evacuated.
02:46pm EST — WBNG are reporting that a gunman is dead. Some reports indicate the gunman may have killed himself. Hostages may still be inside the building. Further details have not been confirmed.
02:44pm EST — Governor Patterson made a statement on today's events:
"An individual went into an American Civic services center and has killed 12 or 13 people. This is a horrible situation. There's no available data on what's going on there...or than the fact that lives have been lost. We'd like to extend our prayers to the citizen of Binghamton and to the families that have obviously been traumatized by this event."
02:36pm EST — Additional reports indicate that several shooters may have been involved in the incident: "U.S. local media reports say that police are searching for a third suspect in the Binghamton, New York tragedy."
2:05pm EST — Two males have been cuffed in plastic restraints and taken away by police. CNN is reporting that the two men were not suspected shooters.
Local reports from the Star Gazette and others indicate that several people may have been released through the back doors of the American Civic Association building.
A Crisis Hotline has been established for family members of relatives present at today's American Civic Association Shooting: (607)-778-3911
PREVIOUSLY | 12:25pm EST— The suspect has been described as an Asian male in his twenties and there are some reports that when the suspect approached the building he parked his vehicle at the back door to prevent escape before he entered the Civic Association. It is being reported that during a citizenship test at the Association, the man opened fire.
The shooting happened a the American Civic Association building at 131 Front Street, where new immigrants to the United States go to apply for residency status and thousands of people pass through here on a daily basis. About 41 people were believed to be in the front section of the building at the time the shooting occurred.
About 20 hostages have been released from the building according to the local press:
Shortly after noon, about 10 people were released from the building, with hands on their heads. The police searched some of them. Around 12:40 p.m., another 10 were released from the rear of the building, clad in white sheets. They were shaken and hugged each other as they boarded a BC Transit bus. All are being considered suspects until they are cleared by police.
CNN is now confirming that four people have been shot, but other sources are saying that the death toll is up to twelve or thirteen. This has not been confirmed by all news organizations.
Four people have been removed from the building on stretchers and taken to hospitals. The Binghamton SWAT team is on the scene. There are reportedly 41 hostages in the building -- 15 in a closet and 26 in the boiler room.
The shooter may still be in the building, scanner reports indicate. At least two ambulances from the scene have arrived at Wilson Regional Medical Center.
Police surrounded the building and FBI and SWAT teams entered.
Binghamton Police have surrounded 131 Front Street, the American Civic Association. Action News crews on the scene say they saw people being carried out of the building. Scanner reports say there are 41 people inside the building, with as many as 4 people shot.
Scanner reports say a man went into the building and started shooting.
When the shooting started, people inside escaped to the basement in search of safety. More than a dozen people are hiding in a closet, for more than an hour now. Emergency dispatchers are in contact with some people inside by phone. Police have sent some people to Wilson and Lourdes Hospital, and have requested ambulances to the scene.
Apartments nearby have been evacuated, and nearby Binghamton High School is on lockdown as well as a nursing home.
More information to come.
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