Gunman's Rampage in NY a 'Massacre'

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CBNNews.com - UPDATE: Authorities are searching the home of the suspected gunman in Johnson City, N.Y. just west of Binghamton.

Massacre in N.Y.

A gunman's shooting rampage Friday morning is being called a massacre after he took the lives of 14 people including himself at a Binghamton, N.Y. immigration building.

At about 10:30 a.m., the lone gunman armed with a high powered rifle and possibly two hand guns walked into a building where U.S. citizenship classes were being held and opened fired on students.

The man, identified as 41-year-old Jiverly Voong, killed at least 13 people and wounded dozens more before killing himself. The gunman reportedly shot at random people hiding in closets, bathrooms, and the boiler room. He also shot at people trying to escape out the front door.

At the time of the rampage, there were 41 people inside the American Civic Association building. Students were immigrants from many countries including Russia, India, and Pakistan.

Witnesses React

Witnesses say the gunman was a man of Asian descent, about 5 to 6 feet tall, wearing glasses and a green jacket. He pulled his car up to the back door and effectively prevented people from escaping through it. Then he walked around the building and entered the front door and opened fire.

Officers say, the gunman took his own life and was found dead in an office with a hunting knife jammed into his waistband. There is no word yet on his motive.

New York Governor David Patterson flew by helicopter into Binghamton to talk to the press about the rampage.

President Obama, who is overseas, offered his condolences via telephone to the mayor of Binghamton, calling the rampage an "act of senseless violence."

The president, who is traveling in Europe, says he and his wife, Michelle, are praying for the victims, their families and the people of Binghamton.

Church Prayer Vigil

Barbara Hayden of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer said the church is holding a prayer vigil tonight as the city is in mourning.

"I'm near tears, but I'm mostly overwhelmed and concerned for the people," she told CBN News. "Probably once I stop to sit down and think about it, then it will really hit."

Hayden said she finds her strength in God.

"I don't know how anyone can make it through a situation of any kind without having a faith in our LORD," she added. "That's where we find our strength and our hope. And I know Jesus was right there in the midst of the whole thing just crying with people and holding onto those hostages and loving on them."

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Lorie Johnson

Lorie Johnson

CBN News Reporter

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