‘New York killer was depressed and angry over losing job’ (Lead)

April 4th, 2009 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 4 (IANS) The lone gunman who allegedly shot dead 13 people inside an immigration services centre in New York State was depressed and angry over losing his job and about his poor English skills, media reports said Saturday.

Binghamton mayor Matthew Ryan, speaking on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’, Saturday said the man, believed to be 42-year-old Vietnamese immigrant Jiverly Voong, was angry about his language issues and his lack of employment.

Police chief Joseph Zikuski told NBC’s ‘Today’ that the gunman spoke little English and had recently lost his job. He added that the people had “degraded and disrespected” the killer over his poor language skills.

The gunman Friday barricaded the back door of the centre in Binghamton, a town of some 45,000 people about 150 miles northwest of New York City, with a car and burst through the front door on a shooting rampage.

The two receptionists at the centre barely had time to react when a gunman stormed in the front door and shot them at close range before firing on a roomful of immigrants taking a citizenship class. One receptionist survived, playing dead, before crawling under a desk and calling 911.

Zikuski said the receptionist stayed on the phone for 90 minutes, “feeding us information constantly,” despite a serious wound in the abdomen. “She’s a hero in her own right,” he said.

Investigators said they had yet to establish a motive for the shooting, which was at least the fifth deadly mass shooting in the US in the last month that have left 44 people dead in all.

The suspected killer carried ID with the name of 42-year-old Jiverly Voong, of nearby Johnson City, New York, but that was believed to be an alias, unnamed law enforcement officials were cited as saying.

The centre was filled with people from countries as far off as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, all working to become more a part of their new home - learning English, taking a class to gain US citizenship. The gunman may have walked a similar path to become an American decades ago.

MSNBC said a woman who answered the phone at a listing for Henry D. Voong said she was Jiverly Voong’s sister but would not give her name. She said her brother had been in the country for 28 years and had citizenship.

On Friday evening, police searched Voong’s house and carried out three computer hard drives, a brown canvas rifle case, a briefcase, a small suitcase and several paper bags.

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