jiverly antares wong

The Binghamton shootings took place on Friday, April 3, 2009, at the American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton (a center that provides citizenship, cultural, and language assistance to the local immigrant community.) At approximately 10:30 a.m. EDT, a naturalized immigrant Jiverly Antares Wong entered the facility and shot numerous people inside.

Fourteen people were ultimately confirmed dead, including the shooter, and four were wounded in the incident. The injured people, aged from twenty to mid-fifties, were treated for gunshot wounds at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City and Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton.

At about 10:30 a.m. EDT, Wong barricaded the rear door of the Binghamton American Civic Association building with a vehicle registered in his father’s name. He was described as wearing a bullet-proof vest, a bright green nylon jacket, and dark-rimmed glasses.

Wong then entered through the front door firing a number of bullets at those in his path. At 10:30 a.m. Broome County Communications received several 911 calls, and the first police were dispatched to the scene. Two of the Civic Association’s receptionists were among the first victims. While one of the receptionists was reported to have been shot through the head and killed, the second, shot in the stomach, feigned death and, when the gunman moved on, took cover under a desk and called 911. The receptionist’s call was taken by 911 staff at 10:38 a.m. The wounded receptionist, 61-year-old Shirley DeLucia, remained on the line, despite her gunshot wound, for 39 minutes and relayed information until she was rescued. She later recounted that the gunman had simply opened fire, without saying anything.

The area where the violence was then focused was a classroom, just off the main reception areas, where an ESL class was being given to students. Everyone who was in that classroom suffered a gunshot wound. Wong entered and began executing victims, taking some hostage. Police arrived within minutes of the 911 calls; it was later revealed, that when Wong heard the sirens, he took his own life by turning one of his guns against himself. In all, Wong fired 99 rounds; 88 from a 9 mm Beretta and 11 from a .45-caliber Beretta.

SWAT members entered the Civic Center building and began clearing it at 11:13 a.m.—43 minutes after the first call to the police at 10:30 a.m., and 40 minutes after patrol officers first arrived on the scene at 10:33 a.m. At the time of their entry it had not yet been confirmed that Wong had committed suicide, and they proceeded with caution. At approximately 12:00 noon, ten people left the building, with another ten following approximately forty minutes later.

Some of the hostages had escaped to a basement, while over a dozen remained hidden in a closet. Thanh Huynh, a high school teacher of Vietnamese background, was asked to translate so the Vietnamese survivors could be interviewed by the police.

Wong was found dead, in a first floor office of the building, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A number of items were found on Wong’s body, including: a hunting knife, in the waistband of his pants; a bag of ammunition, which was tied around his neck; and two semi-automatic pistols (a .45-caliber Beretta and a 9mm Beretta, matching the serial numbers on his New York State pistol license). Also found at the scene were a number of unspent magazines, at least one empty magazine with a 30 round capacity and a firearm laser sight.

By 2:33 p.m., SWAT had completed the clearing of the building and all those inside had been evacuated.

Killed:

  • Parveen Ali, age 26, a migrant from northern Pakistan
  • Almir Olimpio Alves, age 43, a Brazilian Ph.D. in Mathematics and visiting scholar at SUNY Binghamton, attending English classes at the Civic Association
  • Marc Henry Bernard, age 44, a migrant from Haiti
  • Maria Sonia Bernard, age 46, a migrant from Haiti
  • Li Guo, age 47, a visiting scholar from China
  • Lan Ho, age 39, a migrant from Vietnam
  • Layla Khalil, age 53, an Iraqi mother of three children
  • Roberta King, age 72, an English language teacher who was substituting for a vacationing teacher
  • Jiang Ling, age 22, a migrant from China
  • Hong Xiu “Amy” Mao Marsland, age 35, a nail technician who migrated from China in 2006
  • Dolores Yigal, age 53, a recent immigrant from the Philippines
  • Hai Hong Zhong, age 54, a migrant from China
  • Maria Zobniw, age 60, a part-time caseworker at the Civic Association, originally from Ukraine

Wounded:

  • Shirley DeLucia, age 61, the critically-wounded Civic Association receptionist who feigned death and then contacted police
  • Long Huynh, age 42, a Vietnamese immigrant whose wife, Lan Ho, was killed. Huynh attempted to shield her with his body, but a bullet that first shattered Huynh’s elbow, ricocheted, striking his wife, and killed her. In addition to his elbow, one of Huynh’s fingers was shot off, a bullet hit his chest, and another bullet entered his chin and exited through his cheek.