Gunman shoots himself after killing 13 in New York shooting rampage (Fourth Lead)

April 4th, 2009 - 2:17 am ICT by IANS  

New York, April 3 (IANS) A lone gunman shot dead as many as 13 people, wounded another 26 in a shooting rampage inside an upstate New York civic association building that caters to immigrants and then killed himself, media reports said.
ABC News cited multiple state law enforcement officials as saying the gunman entered the single-storey American Civic Association building in downtown Binghamton about 10 a.m. Friday and began a shooting spree.

The gunman later shot himself and may be among the dead, police said.

A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that 13 people were shot dead and 26 wounded. Many others were believed to be held inside the building as hostages.

At the time of the shooting the civic association was holding citizenship classes.

Earlier Friday, police called Broome Community College to find someone who could speak fluent Vietnamese to “assist police with translation”, said college spokesman Richard David.

Police, he said, did not indicate whether the translator, Professor Tuong Nguyen, was needed to speak with the shooter or with hostages, but believed the professor would be talking with the shooter.

One of the first sights that greeted police officers when they entered the American Civic Association, an organization that helps immigrants, was a receptionist who had been shot in the head, police said.

By early afternoon a number of people were seen being escorted out of the building by police. But police at that time appeared to still be treating the situation as an active one with a shooter possibly still at large.

Several people were removed from the building on stretchers. Others left with their hands on their heads and were searched by police.

“It looks like they’re bringing out hostages. It looks like most of them are coming out,” said eye witness Nick Masucci, a community college student and Binghamton resident.

Masucci said as many as 20 people had exited the building and were pat down by police.

“They look like immigrants, lots of different cultures coming out of there. Some people are getting patted down. The police are taking a lot of precautions, they’re still taking cover,” he said.

People in nearby buildings were told to stay away from windows and Binghamton High School is under a lock-down as police are using the school as a staging area. The school is a block and a half away from the shooting site.

Ten ambulances were called to the scene and an FBI hostage rescue team was reportedly also sent for.

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