In a minute's time, killer fired 98 rounds

The Associated PressApril 9, 2009 

— The man who gunned down 13 people at an upstate New York immigration center fired 98 shots from two handguns in a little more than a minute, police said Wednesday.

Ballistics reports showed Jiverly Wong fired 87 times from a 9mm Beretta and 11 times from a .45-caliber handgun.

Police said almost all 13 victims died instantly. Four others were wounded but survived. Wong killed himself as police were rushing to the scene. He was found with a satchel containing several full ammunition clips.

Police have speculated that Wong, who was ethnically Chinese but was from Vietnam, was angry over losing a job and frustrated about his poor English-language skills.

"I asked our range officer, and he said easily in a minute you could rip off 98 rounds," said Police Chief Joseph Zikuski.

"Our range people tell us it was over in a minute, a minute and a half. It doesn't take long. Especially, it's our understanding that he was an accomplished marksman."

Wong, wearing a bulletproof vest, barged into the American Civic Association community center Friday morning and started shooting.

Two employees and 11 immigrants taking an English class died in the assault.

Meanwhile, recordings posted on the Web site ScanAmerica.us, reveal some of the communications between dispatchers and police on the scene.

At one point, officers on the scene were told about the vehicle Wong used to block a door at the rear of the building.

"Be advised, guys, you may have somebody come out the back door, so keep alert," says a man's voice.

"This door's barricaded with the, uh, suspect's vehicle," is the answer from the scene.

"Use cover, don't ... don't do anything foolish back there," the first voice replies.

The rampage left the small classroom at the American Civic Association in ruins, Zikuski said. Desks were found flipped over, and bullet holes riddled the space, he said.

"It was very tight, close quarters. The room was in mayhem. There was not a lot of moving around the room. We do know he began firing as soon as he got to the doorway, because there's casings right at the doorway," Zikuski said.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service