CIVIC CENTER TOTE BOARD: "REFUGEE QUESTIONS"
********Scroll for updates*******
FOX news reports that an "Asian" male (not the UK Asian?), 20's, entered the building, a civic center, and started shooting. Number of dead is unknown, at least 4 shot, 41 people have been taken hostage. The American Civic Association "assists immigrants and refugees with immigration and personal counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification, interpreters, and translators. Fosters cross cultural understanding for the entire community". A center dedicated to assimilation into America.
Binghamton Police have surrounded 131 Front Street, the American Civic Association. Action News crews on the scene say they saw people being carried out of the building. Scanner reports say there are 41 people inside the building, with as many as 4 people shot.
Scanner reports say a man went into the building and started shooting.
When the shooting started, people inside escaped to the basement in search of safety. More than a dozen people are hiding in a closet, for more than an hour now. Emergency dispatchers are in contact with some people inside by phone. Police have sent some people to Wilson and Lourdes Hospital, and have requested ambulances to the scene.
Police have shut down Court Street heading west at Water Street. They have also closed Main Street at Murray Street. Binghamton High School has locked down the school, and will not allow students out for lunch.
Action News has crews on the scene and will bring you up to date details as soon as they are available.
UPDATE: Number dead unknown. At least 4 are potentially dead.
Gunman with a high powered rifle still inside that building.
SWAT team surrounding the building - dozen ambulances at the scene.
UPDATE: 4 Dead, 12 shot. Building still in lockdown. Hostages still in building. If one of those hostages had a gun - they could shoot this bastard dead. Remember the shooting that occurred on February 12, 2007, at Trolley Square Mall in Salt Lake City, Utah. A lone jihadi killed five bystanders and wounded four others before being shot dead by an off duty cop. How many would have died had the hero not had his gun?
UPDATE: 5 gunshot victims. Numbers sketchy.
UPDATE: 20 released. FBI sending hostage negotiators .................
RAPIDLY DEVELOPING SITUATION. It's fluid. Numbers are changing.
From Refugee Resettlement Watch: (thanks to Mira in comments)
At the September 2007 forum in Hagerstown, MD someone asked representatives of the US State Dept. about an apparent policy to spread refugees out to small and middle-sized American cities and away from the traditional “gateway cities.” We have heard, but cannot confirm, that this was a directive of the Clinton Administration. Early in the meeting the question was brushed aside, but later the State Dept. spokeswoman admitted that the social services in traditional immigrant receiving cities had become over-taxed.
Thanks to the Jacksonville article yesterday, we now know that The Brookings Institution actually reported on this trend back in April. Check out their report by going to this page at Brookings and then download the document entitled, “Refugee Resettlement in Metropolitan America.”
Some interesting findings come as no surprise:
* Little is known about refugee resettlement at the metropolitan level.
* Unlike other immigrants refugees have access to considerable federal, state and local support.
* Sometimes the placement of too many refugees in one area has overwhelmed local communities and stirred tension.
Now, back to Brookings. You gotta have a look at this report. As expected, the top three original “gateway cities” were New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. But, I was interested in the eleven top cities that had the largest refugee populations as a percentage of the foreign born in the city calculated from figures up to the year 2000. They are:
Utica-Rome, NY (See our earlier post on Utica here.)
UPDATE: The four shot were running from the gunman. There are unconfirmed reports of two gunmen which, of course, makes this even more sinister. Further, the gunman allegedly backed his car up to the backdoor of the building to prevent anyone in the building from escaping.
Press Connects of Greater Binghamton (thanks to Deniece for the link)
Both hospitals postponed all elective surgeries and called in extra personnel to staff their emergency rooms.
According to police reports, more than 40 hostages were in the building — 15 in a closet and 26 in the boiler room. Sharp shooters from the Binghamton SWAT team were poised outside the building at 131 Front Street. The Endicott police bomb squad is also at the scene.
Scanner reports just before 1:30 p.m. indicate that police were asking 26 people in the Civic Association to lie on the floor with the hands above their heads.
Shortly after noon, about 10 people were released from the building, with hands on their heads. The police searched some of them. Around 12:40 p.m., another 10 were released from the rear of the building, clad in white sheets. They were shaken and hugged each other as they boarded a BC Transit bus. All are being considered suspects until they are cleared by police.
Police and ambulance crews began staging at Oak and Main Street, the site of the Binghamton High School, shortly after 10:30 a.m. today. Local apartments were evacuated and businesses, including a nearby nursing home, were placed under lockdown. The high school was also locked down.
One woman who worked as a secretary reportedly was shot in the stomach.
Family members of the hostages and victims were being told to gather at 232 Main St. in Binghamton, while more ambulance crews were on standby.
Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan said the shooter has a high-powered rifle.
Broome Community College Assistant Professor Tuong Hung Nguyen was asked to work with police to communicate with the shooter. Nguyen is fluent in Vietnamese.
The ACA had citizenship classes scheduled for today.
Redeemer Lutheran Church at 72 Main St. in Binghamton will hold a prayer vigil at 7 p.m. tonight for those affected by the shooting.
Governor Patterson confirms multiple fatalities. ABC IS CONFIRMING 13 DEAD. GUNMAN ENTERED THE BUILDING FIRING.
UPDATE: ABC NEWS:
According to multiple state law enforcement officials, the gunman entered the one-story American Civic Association in downtown Binghamton about 10 a.m. today and began a shooting spree.
A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that 13 people were shot dead and 26 wounded.
Others were believed to be held inside the building as hostages.
The suspect was described as an Asian male in his 20s, between 5-foot-8 and 6 feet tall, wearing a bright green nylon jacket and dark-rimmed glasses.
Officials said the gunman backed his car up to the rear door of the building to block any escape before he went to the front of the building and started to execute people.
Police officials said two weapons have been found. According to one police report a 9 millimeter pistol was recovered as SWAT team officers entered the building.
The shooter was still unaccounted for. Officials said the shooter could be hiding or among the dead.
UPDATE: Gunman shot and killed himself. Hostage crisis over.