Obama, Biden shocked over ‘senseless violence’ in New York


New York : President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama have offered their condolences to the grieving community over the killing of 13 people in a shooting rampage at an immigration services centre in New York state.

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“Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in Binghamton, New York, today,” Obama said Friday.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the people of Binghamton,” he added.

Vice President Joe Biden, who was in New York on unrelated business, also condemned the acts and called on Americans to stop the cycle of violence.

“I’d ask you to keep all those folks in your prayers,” he said. “I think it’s time that we gotta figure a way to deal with this senseless, senseless violence.”

The American Civic Association building where the killing took place is used to teach English and provide other services to recent immigrants to the US who are preparing for citizenship.

New York Governor David Paterson said it was a “senseless act of violence” that targeted people “who wanted to be part of the American dream”.

There have been several mass shootings in recent years in the US, where guns are widely available for purchase and the right to own weapons is enshrined in the Constitution.

Last month, a man killed 10 people, many of them family members, in a shooting rampage in Alabama.