4 shot, hostages taken in Binghamton, N.Y.
Gunman with rifle might be holding some 41 people at immigration center
NBC News and news services
updated 9 minutes ago
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - At least four people were shot and dozens of people were taken hostage Friday at an immigration services center, according to officials and news reports.
At least 41 hostages were in the building of the American Civic Association, The Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin reported. Nearby apartments in this city in western New York state were being evacuated.
The condition of those shot wasn't immediately clear.
A man went into a building and started shooting, according to police scanner traffic reported by WBNG-TV. The gunman had a high-powered rifle, Mayor Matthew Ryan told the newspaper.
When the shooting started, people escaped to the basement in search of safety. More than a dozen people were hiding in a closet for more than an hour.
Some people were being escorted out of the building, WBGH reporter Sophia Ojeda said.
The American Civic Association's Web site says it helps immigrants and refugees with counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification, interpreters, and translators.
The suspect was described as a man in his 20s between 5 feet, 8 inches and 6 feet tall, wearing a bright green nylon jacket and dark-rimmed glasses.
According to Rich Griffith, a man who works at Ridley Lowell Business and Technical Institute across the street from the hostage scene, he and his co-workers were told to stay inside.
He said he saw three people carried out of the building on stretchers alive and moving.
This breaking news story will be updated.