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Las Vegas Massacre Reminds Local Law Enforcement of American Civic Association Shooting

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Sunday’s shooting in Las Vegas is bringing up memories of the tragedy at the American Civic Association eight years ago.

Thirteen were killed and four were injured in the Binghamton shooting, the largest in New York and one of the largest in the country at the time.

Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski remembers the day like it was yesterday, and immediately thought of it when hearing about the Las Vegas shooting.

“The first thing this morning when I saw it, that’s the first thing that came to my mind was the ACA. I remember hearing a call go out.. I could just hear by the tone of it something very serious was taking place, so I left (the station) immediately and I was up there in a matter of less than a couple minutes myself.”

Students in the area who are too young to fully remember the ACA shooting, woke up to the news this morning out of Las Vegas along with the rest of the East Coast.

Andrew Discenza, a junior at Binghamton University, said he won’t let these tragedies affect the way he lives his life.

“I still feel pretty safe going to big events. I’m not going to let one crazy terrorist, which is really what we need to call him, ruin it for everyone else. Especially college students going to parties or concerts, or any sports event or anything. I’m not going to let one crazy terrorist ruin it for the rest of us.”

The latest shooting is now the largest in U.S. history, overtaking the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando just 16 months ago.

“I think it’s very unfortunate and terrible. Having them happen so close together is alarming.”

Sunday’s concert was an open air venue just like local events, including the Spedie Fest and Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.

David Pessagno, who coordinates those events, said his team spends as much time as possible to make sure what happened in Vegas doesn’t happen here.

“We spend months talking about security and whether we’re gonna have metal detectors or not, and how they’re going to be used. Then we meet with all of the law enforcement whether it’s State Police, Sheriff’s, local police, whoever is involved in whatever event it may be.You want to be prepared, you want people to feel safe when they come to an event like this.”