Updated 04/05/2009 04:33 PM
First of Binghamton funerals planned for Sunday
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- We now know the names of three of the victims who were killed in Friday's shooting rampage at the American Civic Association.
Funeral services will be held today for Layla Khalil and Parveen Ali. Both were members of the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier. The organization's president had this to say about Kahlil.
"She came here about a year or two ago from Iraq, she was one of those refugees that came as part of the Kurdish refugees and she was taking English as a second language courses to prepare her for citizenship," said Ehtisham Siddiqui, President of the Islamic
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Organization of the Southern Tier.
Ali had been in the country longer. She came to the U.S. six to eight years ago and was more fluent in English. One of her brothers was also in the building at the time of the shooting, but he made it out safely.
"She was sort of keeping the family together. She would do jobs to bring in money, but more than that, she was really a steady hand and took care of her mother and her brothers, who were going through school as well. Now at this point, when the brothers have finally grown through the point where they have some sort of job, although I don't know where they're working, but they do have some jobs here,” said Siddiqui. “To lose her when she could have now entered her working career is very sad. And it's doubly sad for her mother who doesn't speak any language, other than her native language where she comes from."
We have also confirmed the identity of Helen Van Ho. She and her husband were both inside the Civic Center. She was killed, despite her husband's attempts to shield her from the bullets.
Van Ho's husband was also shot. He is recovering at an area hospital.