Binghamton-area residents are reflecting on the mass shooting that resulted in 13 people being killed at the American Civic Association 15 years ago.

The tragic events at the building at 131 Front Street occurred on the morning of April 3, 2009.

The first word that a man had opened fire inside the facility came in a 911 call at 10:31 a.m.

Matthew Ryan, who was mayor at the time, was learned of the shooting as was returning to City Hall after an off-site meeting.

Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Wednesday morning, Ryan said a police officer gave him a bullet-proof vest and they went directly to the scene.

Ryan said "it was just devastating news" which got worse as he heard additional information about the number of people who were feared dead as a result of the shooting.

Binghamton Mourns In Aftermath Of Deadly Mass Shooting
Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan bows his head during a news conference at the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier for two Muslim victims of the 2009 ACA mass shooting. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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The former mayor said "it was a very volatile situation" because police initially did not know exactly how many people were in the building. They also didn't know whether the shooter was dead or alive.

Ryan said it took quite awhile before authorities determined that there had been only a single shooter and he apparently had taken his own life.

[A memorial service will be held at the American Civic Association building on Front Street at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.]

Former Mayor Matthew Ryan in the "Binghamton Now" studio on April 3, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Former Mayor Matthew Ryan in the "Binghamton Now" studio on April 3, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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LISTEN: Former Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan discussed the American Civic Association tragedy on WNBF Radio on April 3, 2024.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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