The critically wounded receptionist who phoned police during a gunman's rampage two years ago has broken her public silence to ask for a renewed federal ban on large-capacity gun magazines like those Jiverly Wong used to fire 97 bullets in under two minutes, killing 13 and wounding four others.
Shirley DeLucia, who played dead under her desk at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, said the only point of those magazines is to inflict "as much carnage as possible," like in the January shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Wong, with 30-bullet magazines and two handguns, shot most of his victims multiple times. He killed himself as police arrived.
"How many mass shootings will it take for Congress to protect us?" said DeLucia, who was shot in the abdomen. "The horror of that day haunts me through flashbacks, nightmares, and lasting physical effects. I live with it every day and I'll have to live with it for the rest of my life, but if there's one thing I can do to prevent future violence, it's to express my fervent support for this."
Pending legislation would ban magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
Binghamton's Mayor Matthew Ryan, Police Chief Joseph Zikuski and Broome County District Attorney Gerald Mollen plan to gather Monday to mark the second anniversary of the April 3, 2009, shootings in the city of 42,000 about 10 miles north of the Pennsylvania state line. They all support that legislation.
Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City, said growing support from law enforcement nationally should make the message clear.
According to doctors and police, mockery of Wong's poorly spoken English, anger over losing a factory job and a severe, undiagnosed mental illness led the embittered Vietnamese immigrant to strap on a bulletproof vest and target people who, like him, had traveled from afar in hopes of bettering their lives.
The murdered at the immigrant services center included 11 students, a teacher and a part-time caseworker.