IBM late in the day on April 3 denied published reports that the gunman in a Binghamton, N.Y., killing spree that left 14 dead was a former IBM worker recently laid off by the systems giant.
A man identified as Jiverly Voong, 42, is reported to have shot and killed 13 people before taking his own life via a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Voong carried out the killing spree at the American Civic Association, which provides services for immigrants. Voong also wounded several people in the shootings, according to several reports.
Claims that Voong was a former IBM employee were based on earlier media reports. According to the Associated Press:
“The gunman had recently been let go from IBM in nearby Johnson City, said Rep. Maurice Hinchey, whose district includes Binghamton. The gunman opened fire on a citizenship class, he said.“
However, responding to inquiries from eWEEK, an IBM spokesperson said Voong never worked for IBM.
The Associated Press reported that Voong blocked the back door of the center with his car and then entered shooting through the front. The American Civic Association helps immigrants in the Binghamton area with naturalization applications and with counseling, resettlement, citizenship, family reunification and translators, according to the association’s Website.
Binghamton officials said Voong used a high-powered rifle to carry out at least some of the shootings, and he was reportedly carrying a bag with two guns-a 9 mm handgun with an extended clip, and a .45-caliber handgun-as well as a bag equipped with survival gear, extra ammunition and a hunting knife.
A call placed to Voong’s residence by eWEEK was left unanswered.
Thus far no motive for the shootings has been found.
The Binghamton area is the birthplace of IBM and a significant number of people still work at IBM facilities in the region. The company has undergone a series of layoffs that could reach as high as 10,000, as the company continues to shift jobs overseas.
Additional reporting by Chris Preimesberger.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include IBM‘s response to the report that it had formerly employed Voong.