Saturday, April 04, 2009



Otherwise known only for the SUNY campus in nearby Vestal, Binghamton, NY has been in the news since yesterday. It’s a horrible situation, of which I have only one further comment.

Initial reports had the shooter identified as an ex-IBM employee, who’d recently been laid off. But it’s not clear that that’s true. The L.A. Times says this:

Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan, who described Friday as “the most tragic day in Binghamton history,” said the gunman reportedly had been laid off from his job nearby at IBM. “I believe he was trying to get assistance [at the center] for obtaining employment,” Ryan said.

“The word was he lost his job and was pretty distraught. ... If the story checks out, it’s obvious that he was very concerned about being unemployed and not dealing with it well.”

An IBM employee said Jiverly Wong did not work at IBM.

...and this is from the Lede Blog in the N.Y. Times, which has been following the story with regular updates:
Updated | 7:05 p.m. There seems to be a mix-up about the alleged shooter, whose name police are still not releasing.

Representative Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton, had told The New York Times and The Associated Press that the alleged shooter had been laid off from I.B.M. But a person familiar with the I.B.M. plant in Johnson City tells us that the alleged shooter did not work for I.B.M.

There is someone with the same last name as the alleged shooter who does contract work at the plant, the person said, but that worker was at the plant all day today and has not been laid off.

Even if it were true that the man was recently laid off, it would in no sense be the company’s fault, even a little, that this happened. We’re all responsible for our own actions, and “Look what you made me do!”, hasn’t worked since we were five years old.

The man, whoever he is, was sadly disturbed, and it’s terrible that he had to take at least 13 others, people who had done nothing to him at all, out with him.

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