Monday, April 6, 2009

Shooter’s sister: ‘I am so sorry’


Jiverly Wong, the gunman whose bloody rampage in upstate New York left 14 people dead, was plagued by depression and frustration that likely sent him over the edge, his sister said Monday.

Speaking exclusively to TODAY’s Meredith Vieira by satellite, Wong’s sister Nga, whose last name and whereabouts are being withheld, said her brother had a rocky time making the transition to life in the U.S. after arriving in the early 1990s from their native Vietnam.

“I loved him and cared very much,” Nga told Vieira. “Although we didn’t live in the same house for the last 20 years, we had occasional communications.

“I can see that he was very depressed from losing his job and he was very frustrated with his English-speaking skills. He didn’t share any of his thoughts and feelings and he kept all of his frustration inside, and didn’t want to share with anybody else in the family.”

Nga added, “I am so sorry he acted in a terribly inappropriate way to his pressure.”

Who was Jiverly Wong?
Wong, an ethnic Chinese raised in Vietnam, sought a better life in America, but his transition was marked by a series of dead-end jobs and brushes with the law. In 1992, he was arrested on charges of forgery while living in Los Angeles. He eventually relocated to Binghamton, where state lawmen investigated him in 1999 after an informant told police Wong was a drug abuser who was hatching a plan to rob a bank.

He relocated back to California for several years, but returned to Binghamton in 2005. He held down a job at a vacuum cleaner assembly plant until being laid off last November. Wong’s co-workers say he often talked of his fascination with guns and his time spent at a local shooting range. And they also said his psyche may have taken a hit by relentless teasing he suffered over his broken English.

Nga said her brother spent most of his time in America living in insular Vietnamese communities so he didn’t have to push himself to learn English. Still, until recently, he was a student at the Binghamton immigration center — although according to accounts, he was a poor, often-absentee pupil.

Nga added that Wong’s getting laid off from work likely caused him to snap. “When he lost his job, because he could not speak well, he felt that it would be very hard for him to get another job,” she said. “He was frustrated. He was scared.”

To Vieira, Nga took the opportunity to apologize on behalf of her family for Wong’s murder spree.

“My family was very shocked to hear the news and very sorry for all the victims and their families,” she told Vieira.

So sad that it had to come to this. But I wouldn't be surprised if many people feel isolated and helpless in a new place. Perhaps in Canada it it a bit easier with many social programs to help those without English. Some may even feel we Canadians bend over backwards to help newcomers.

The saddest part is that he killed people who were in the same situation as him. Newcomers to America trying to improve their living. They put in the effort, he didn't.

I have to ask why he didn't turn to family for help. This sister seems very well-spoken and he could have turned to her or his parents. Murder or suicide is never the answer. There is always someone out there that will help you (family and friends).

1 comment:

Delaware Job Hunters said...

This article makes me think of this quote, "Seasonal unemployment was found to be a state which does not have much employment, for example, rural areas."

But there are career experts who conduct seminars giving concrete advice about the needed skills to compete in today's competitive job market.