Motive unclear in deadly Binghamton shootings

Law enforcement officials wait to enter the American Civic Association building on Friday.
Authorities are still sorting out the details after a shooting rampage Friday at a Binghamton, New York, immigration center left 14 people dead, including the suspected gunman.

A senior law enforcement source with detailed knowledge of the investigation identified the suspect as Jiverly Wong, who is believed to be in his early 40s. Authorities executed a search warrant at Wong’s home in Johnson City, near Binghamton, and spoke to the suspect’s mother, the source said. Earlier in the day, Binghamton police Chief Joseph Zikuski said the gunman entered the American Civic Association building. At 10:31 a.m., authorities received a 911 call from the receptionist, who said she’d been shot in the stomach, Zikuski said. She told police that a man with a handgun also shot and killed another receptionist before proceeding to a nearby classroom, where he gunned down more victims, Zikuski said. View photos from the scene in Binghamton » Authorities said 37 people made it out of the building alive, most of the survivors managed to survive by hiding in a boiler room and storage closets. Nearby apartments were evacuated, and Binghamton High School was locked down for most of Friday afternoon.

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Authorities also said a car was used to block the back door of the building. Two semi-automatic handguns — a .45-caliber and a 9-millimeter — were found at the center, where immigrants were believed to be taking citizenship and language classes. The shooter, who was carrying a satchel of ammunition, was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot to the head, Zikuski said. Watch Zikuski give a timeline of the shooting » Four people were wounded in the attack, in what the Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan has called the “most tragic day” in the city’s history. “This is a community that comes together in a time of crisis,” he said. “We can certainly see that happening already in this community.

American Civic Association• Founded in 1939 by group of immigrants • Private organization funded by United Way • Sponsors citizenship education • Promotes racial, religious, political understanding • Helps immigrants get visas, green cards • Hosts everything from tenants’ rights seminars to St. Patrick’s dinners to polka concerts

“This is going to be tough on those families who have victims. Many of them are originally not from this country,” Ryan said. The American Civic Association helps immigrants and refugees with a number of issues, including personal counseling, resettlement, citizenship and reunification, and provides interpreters and translators, according to the Web site for United Way of Broome County, which is affiliated with the association. Zikuski said Wong, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was unemployed at the time of the shooting. He told CNN’s Susan Candiotti that Wong had recently worked in a vacuum repair shop.

Ryan said Wong attended classes at the American Civic Association and had a connection there. Ryan also said he plans to meet with council members Saturday to plan a citywide vigil.