Injured shooting victim attends wife's memorial

April 9, 2009 1:08:32 PM PDT
Long Huynh came to his wife's memorial service Thursday in a wheelchair, his right arm heavily bandaged and scrapes on his face. He didn't want to talk about last week's shootings inside an immigrant center classroom, where he was injured and his wife died in his arms. He only wanted to talk about her. "She was a good wife, good mother, I love her very much and I miss her," he said through a translator, family friend, Minh Van Nguyen.

Huynh, 42, left the hospital briefly Thursday for a viewing of his wife, Lan Ho, who died in his arms after Jiverly Wong walked into the American Civic Association Friday morning and opened fire, squeezing off 98 shots in about a minute. Besides Lan Ho, Wong killed 10 immigrants and two employees before killing himself.

Relatives told The Associated Press that Huynh cradled his 39-year-old wife and tried to keep his eyes open - to stay awake - telling himself he had to survive for their two children, an 11-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl. Gunshots had shattered his elbow, blown off a finger and slammed into his chest and chin. He bled profusely.

On Thursday, Huynh spent several minutes next to his wife's open casket before being taken away by family members. Near the casket, there was a table with incense burning and a bowl of fruit.

Huynh, with bandages on his face and green blanket drawn over his arm and lap, said he didn't want to talk about the shooting and didn't remember much about it.

"I am only thinking about my wife. I would like my wife to go with God," he said.

Police say Wong, angry about losing his job and his inability to speak English well, put on a bulletproof vest, grabbed two semiautomatic handguns and headed for the civic association Friday morning. He parked his car against the back door to prevent anybody from escaping then walked in the front door, a satchel of ammunition slung around his neck and a knife tucked into his waistband. He shot two people in the reception area, killing one, then opened the door to the English class where the students had their back to him.

"I can't remember," Huynh said. "The guy didn't talk or anything, he walk in shooting."

He thanked the community for raising money, which he plans to use to fly his wife's body to Vietnam for a funeral and burial there. Huynh's sister, Tina Nguyen, said her brother is hoping that he and his children can go back to Vietnam for the funeral, and after that, they'll return to Binghamton.

The couple came to the United States from Vietnam two years ago seeking a better life for their two children.

Of the couple's children, Nguyen said: "They are not doing so well. We tell them their mother is in a better place and their daddy will soon recover."

"He (Long Huynh) came to Binghamton and he don't like it much (at first)," Nguyen said. "Recently he started enjoying it. He met friends, he go to school. Life was picking up and then this happened."

Funeral home director Bob O'Rourke said it would probably be at least two weeks before Lan Ho's body could be sent back to Vietnam.

He said the family is arranging for a brother to meet the body in Ho Chi Minh City.

Another funeral service was held Thursday for Hong Xiu Mao Marsland, 35, a native of China, at Zion Episcopal Church in Greene, N.Y.

Marsland, who went by the American name 'Amy,' moved to the U.S. in 2004, and worked at a nail salon in Endicott. Friends remembered her as a bright, cheerful person, always with a smile and a warm greeting. She would have celebrated her first wedding anniversary in July.

Broome Community College hosted a memorial service for shooting victims on Thursday, and a candlelight memorial service was planned for Thursday night on the Binghamton University campus.

On Friday, officials will mark the one-week anniversary of the rampage with a memorial march and prayer service. The observance will include the planting of a memorial garden at a park. City churches were being asked to ring their bells 14 times at 10:30 a.m. - the time of the shootings - to remember the victims.


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