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Obama shocked, saddened by NY shooting

world Updated: Apr 04, 2009 08:49 IST

US President Barack Obama expressed shock and sadness over shooting deaths of at least 12 people at an immigration center in New York state, adding he was following the case closely.

"Michelle and I were shocked and deeply saddened to learn about the act of senseless violence in Binghamton, NY today," Obama said in a statement as the president visited France to attend NATO's 60th anniversary summit.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the people of Binghamton," Obama said.

A gunman massacred 12 to 13 people yesterday at an immigration center in Binghamton, New York, Governor David Paterson said. He took at least 20 hostages, then apparently turning the gun on himself, according to CNN.

"We don't yet know all the facts, but my administration is actively monitoring the situation and the Vice President (Joe Biden) is in touch with Governor Paterson and local officials to track developments," Obama said.

New York's two US senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, also reacted to the massacre.

"This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families. We are monitoring the situation closely and will do everything we can to help," the two Democrats said.