Victims of New York shooting came from eight countries

April 7th, 2009 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 7 (DPA) The 13 victims of Friday’s shooting at a service centre for immigrants in a New York town included two US citizens and people from seven other countries.
The largest number of victims - four - were from China, the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin reported online Monday.

The information was released by city officials in Binghamton, where the shootings took place at the American Civic Association, which provides services to refugees and immigrants and classes to prepare them for US citizenship naturalisation.

Among the victims of the killer, himself a Vietnamese immigrant, were a married couple from Haiti, who left behind a daughter, 6, and a son, 12.

The couple, Marc Henry Bernard, 44, and Maria Sonia Bernard, 46, worked in entry-level jobs at McDonalds, the Sun Bulletin reported.

The other victims came one each from Vietnam, Iraq, the Philippines, Pakistan and Brazil.

The two dead Americans were Roberta King, who was teaching the English class where most of the killings took place, and Maria Zobniw, a receptionist in the lobby. The alleged shooter, Jiverly Wong, 42, blazed into the centre firing two hand guns.

A second receptionist survived her wounds, as did three others who suffered gunshots.

Immigrants who aspire to US citizenship must pass a test in English on American civic life, and learning the language is the first step on the path.

The Press and Sun-Bulletin quoted from an e-mail sent by one of Zobniw’s relatives, who wrote that the victims were “simply all representative of (the) aspiration for the realization of the American dream”.

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