Many communities have been following the horrific events that happened in Newtown, but people in Broome County are reminded of their own tragedy that took the lives of 13 people three years ago. As our Elyse Mickalonis reports, the healing process is one that people in Binghamton are all too familiar with.
BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- An uneasy feeling for many people watching the details unfold from Friday’s deadly shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, especially for those watching from Broome County.
“I immediately thought of the ACA shooting, which was a great tragedy to our community. You wonder why someone would do what they did and this situation is worse. We’re talking about little children who got shot that way,” said David Harder, Broome County Sheriff. “You’ve got twice as many people being shot. It’s very hard to understand what goes through that person’s mind that’s doing this.”
The shootings at the American Civic Association are now three years removed, but reminders of the horror brought on by Jiverly Wong still exist every day.
“When you drive by the ACA building, even now, thoughts come,” said Harder. “This shooting here is just another reminder of what happened a few years ago.”
Some say it may be helpful for communities, like Binghamton, to reach out to those hurting in Newtown.
“The community that has experienced this, they might be able to share with this new community in Connecticut some of the things they did and through that we may find some peace,” said Shawn Ward, Le Moyne College Psychology Associate Professor.
Harder says just as the police officers and first responders were affected by the ACA shooting, those working on the case in Connecticut may be advised to seek counseling.
"This is horrific it’s going to terrorize all those officers and EMTs, people working there. They’re going to need special counseling after, because this is a mass shooting involving many young people and it does affect you more than adults,” said Harder.
Ward added, “They have provided services to them if they have issues. Part of their training is to block that out and focus on helping others, sometimes that block will cause issues later on.”
As some watching ask why and others demand for harsher gun control, those in the Newtown community are surely holding close to one another and beginning the healing process, something folks in Binghamton certainly understand.
Sheriff Harder wants people to remain patient with investigators, because piecing together the details a shooting of this size will require a lot of work.