Thu, April 09, 2009
World > Americas > Recent shooting violence in U.S.

4 Chinese nationals among dead in New York state shooting

2009-04-05 10:10:46 GMT2009-04-05 18:10:46 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese Deputy Consul General in New York Shi Yong is interviewed in Binghamton, the United States, on April 4, 2009. Four Chinese nationals were among the people killed Friday in a shooting spree by a lone gunman at an immigrant services center in downtown Binghamton, Shi Yong said here Saturday. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

The American Civic Association is cordoned off in Binghamton, New York, the United States, April 4, 2009. Chinese are among the dead in Binghamton Shooting, Chinese consulate cities police sources. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

BINGHAMTON, United States, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Four Chinese nationals were among the people killed Friday in a shooting spree by a lone gunman at an immigrant services centre in downtown Binghamton, New York, a Chinese diplomat said Saturday.

Deputy Consul General Shi Yong said Binghamton police notified the Chinese Consulate-General in New York that four Chinese nationals were among those killed in Friday's shooting. Their identities were being established and could be released as early as Sunday.

Shi said he was already in contact with some of the victims' families and upon their requests has already communicated with relevant departments back in China so as to facilitate visits to the United States or help them attend to other relevant issues.

The consul general said he would continue to meet with the families on further arrangements on Sunday.

Chinese consuls have already visited an exchange student from China who was among the wounded, he said, adding the consuls also paid visits to the school where the student studied, and an insurance company so as to ensure better treatment of his condition and facilitate visits by the student's families.

The student, who sustained two gunshot wounds, one on his arm and the other on his leg, is in stable condition following surgeryat a local hospital.

Binghamton police chief Joseph Zikuski identified the shooter as Jiverly Wong, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Vietnamese descent.

Thirteen people were killed and four others wounded in the shooting spree. Authorities are still trying to establish the motive behind his attack, but Zikuski said the gunman had been a student at the American Civic Association and was very upset aboutbeing ridiculed for his poor English.

"Apparently people were making fun of him ... He felt that he'dbeen degraded from his inability to speak English," he said.

Wong, who was unmarried, was recently laid off from a Shop-Vac assembly plant.

Zikuski said Wong arrived at the crime scene in body armour andcarrying a large amount of ammunition. Two shotguns licensed to him were recovered inside the one-story building of the American Civic Association, which helps immigrants and refugees.

Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan described the shooting as "a tragedy that affects many different people from many different countries and their families and friends."

There have been inquires from nine different countries and two different consulates, Ryan told a press conference.

The United States, which leads the world in private gun ownership, sees about 30,000 people get killed every year due to gun-related violence.

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