Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building
Police responded to the Empire State Building in New York after several people were shot Friday.
August 24th, 2012
03:19 PM ET

Police kill gunman in shooting outside Empire State Building

Read the full story and developments in the investigation on CNN.com. For local coverage, visit WPIX, WCBS and NY1.
Scroll down to catch up on the events as they unfolded.

[Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET] Two patients who were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Friday have been discharged and one has been admitted, the hospital's public affairs office said in a statement.

The three people were brought to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center Emergency Department as a result of a shooting outside the Empire State building shortly after 9 a.m., the hospital said.

Other victims were brought to Bellevue Hospital after the shooting, which police said left eight wounded and two dead, including the gunman.

Police initially said nine bystanders were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between shooter Jeffrey Johnson and police. That number was later revised to eight.

Pictures from the scene

Police killed Johnson as he pulled a gun on them while trying to flee the scene where he fatally shot a former coworker, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The gunman apparently had a longstanding dispute with the victim over workplace harassment allegations, police said. Both men had filed prior complaints.

[Updated at 12:16 a.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised police and civilians for their quick response to a shooting outside the Empire State Building on Friday morning, which left two dead and nine injured.

"There is no doubt that the situation would've been even more tragic except for the extraordinary acts of heroism," Bloomberg said in a media conference. "New York City is the safest big city in this country but we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence."

Gunman Jeffrey Johnson, 53, killed one person before he was shot to death outside the busy tourist destination on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in a chaotic scene just after 9 a.m., Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. In addition to being home to a popular tourist destination in Midtown Manhattan, the area is also a busy commercial district.

"I saw people running and I didn't know what happened. I thought it was a celebrity spotting," said witness Rebecca Fox, who was on her way to work when the shootings broke out. "It was a very surreal scene."

Fast Facts: The Empire State Building

The victim was Johnson's former coworker at Hazan Imports, where Johnson was a designer of women's accessories until being laid off last year.

As Johnson attempted to flee the scene, a construction worker across the street alerted two police officers, who pursued him up West 33rd Street, Kelly said. As Johnson pulled out a .45 caliber pistol, the officers opened fire, killing Johnson. It was unclear if Johnson managed to shoot a round.

Nine others were wounded or grazed in the exchange of gunfire, Kelly said. They were taken to local hospitals where they are expected to recover.

"Some may have been accidentally shot by police officers," Kelly said.

Photos and messages from Twitter and other digital platforms that appear to be related to the shooting outside the Empire State Building are being collected by CNN.com social media producer Dorrine Mendoza on this Storify page. CNN editors are working to verify this information and will be updating throughout the day.

[Updated at 11:26 a.m. ET] A gunman fatally shot a former coworker in the head outside the Empire State Building Friday morning before he was killed by police officers, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The suspect, 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, was a "disgruntled former employee" of a business near the Empire State Building, Kelly said. As he tried to flee the scene, a construction worker alerted two police officers, who pursued him down 33rd Street, Kelly said.

Johnson pulled a .45 caliber gun on the approaching police officers but it not clear if he actually shot any rounds as police opened fire on him, Kelly said.

Nine people were wounded or grazed in the crossfire, Kelly said.

"Some may have been accidentally shot by police officers," Kelly said.

[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET] The Empire State Building is fully operational after ten people were shot outside the popular tourist destination this morning, leaving at least two dead.

Building representatives released a statement saying the New York Police Department is concluding its investigation that occurred shortly after 9 a.m.

[Updated at 11:08 a.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to speak soon after a shooting outside the Empire State Building Friday morning left at least two dead, including the suspected gunman.

A witnessed said they saw a shooter with a "large gun"

[Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to speak at 11 a.m. after a shooting outside the Empire State Building Friday morning left at least two dead, including the suspected gunman.

Watch the news conference live on CNN TV, on CNN.com or on your CNN mobile app.

• There is no apparent link to terrorism, a law enforcement official said.

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• Police shot the suspect, whose body is still lying outside the building covered in a sheet, witnesses said.

• A woman was also killed in the shooting, which occurred as people were lining up to gain entry to the busy tourist destination on 34 Street and Fifth Avenue.

• An elevator worker from inside the Empire State Building ran outside and began chasing the alleged shooter, CNN producer Rose Arce said. At some point police, who were apparently inside the building, were alerted and chased and the alleged shooter.

• Photos and messages from Twitter and other digital platforms that appear to be related to the shooting outside the Empire State Building are being collected by CNN.com social media producer Dorrine Mendoza on this Storify page. CNN editors are working to verify this information and will be updating throughout the day.

[Updated at 10:33 a.m. ET] The body of the alleged shooter is lying outside the entrance to the Empire State Building after a shooting broke out Friday morning, leaving at least two dead, New York City officials said.

A woman was also killed in the shooting, which occurred as people were lining up to gain entry to the busy tourist destination.

An elevator worker from inside the Empire State Building ran outside and began chasing the alleged shooter, CNN producer Rose Arce said. At some point police, who were apparently inside the building, were alerted and chased and the alleged shooter.

Arce talked to several international tourists who were standing around. "They were completely stunned by what happened and were screaming," Arce reports.

[Updated at 10:17 a.m. ET] Ten people were shot outside the Empire State Building, leaving two dead, including the gunman, New York City officials said.

A witness told CNN she saw a man lying in the middle of the street surrounded by police.

"I saw blood on the sidewalk," Rebecca Fox said. "It was a very surreal scene."

[Updated at 10:09 a.m. ET] A suspect started shooting outside the Empire State Building this morning, killing at least one person, New York city officials say.

The suspect had a "large gun," a witness told CNN.

[Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET] - At least 10 people were shot Friday in front of the Empire State Building in New York Friday morning, the New York Office of Emergency Management said.

A suspect in the shooting was shot and killed by police, New York police said.

Authorities converged on the building around 9 a.m. after reports of gunfire.

A witness told CNN's Rose Arce that the gunman ran after and shot a man in the head. An unarmed guard chased the gunman away, the witness told Arce.

Police have closed several several streets around 5th Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan.

New York resident Max Kaplan, 22, said he heard at least nine gunshots. He said several ambulances have arrived at the scene.

"We're all very shaken up at the office," he said.

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, and one of New York City's best-known tourist attractions.

Each year, about 4 million people visit the building's two observation decks. At more than 1,453 feet tall, the landmark building reaches more than a quarter-mile into the sky.

soundoff (3,090 Responses)
  1. Solo

    Obama has turned Americans on each other. Hope and change. People that fell for his lies are to blame for this.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • True Christian

      Oh my god, you are so ignorant.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      If you're going to blame any president, blame Reagan. He was the first president, of either party, after WW II to articulate a policy that supported the use of force as a valid, primary means of resolving conflict. If you agree with Reagan's and Bush's approaches, you're throwing away 50 years of intentional movement towards diplomacy and dialog.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cleophas

    Respect your self mr man, this is not about Christian and in which you know that. Have a feeling for the family that lost there love one's pls.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Boo

    Stupid Americans...cannot wait to get the hell out of here for good...

    August 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. grim keeper

    Ok so where is the part about the shooter chanting all-ehhh actcubarb? O wait this is CNN you won't get all the facts.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. plato

    i guess they'll be prying that gun from his cold, dead hands

    August 24, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RandomCOguy

    Investigative journalism for some reason has become taboo here in america.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. m

    and we're STILL not ready to talk about reasonable gun legislation. USA! USA! USA! yeeeeEEEE HAAAAAAaaaaaaw!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. brian

    yeah because the DC sniper just had a good tan, and any drive by in East LA was done by a white guy.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. TheEndIsNear

    It's everyone for himself now. Good luck. You'll need it. The more media publishes these acts... the more they occur.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tom

    Uh oh. Somebody got upset about Bloomberg's soda size limitations.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Mike

    But but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but ut but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but but GUNS ARE ILLEGAL IN NYC!!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • scarf

      So is murder. I guess the conclusion is to legalize murder?

      August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • solrac503

      Yeah, that's smart. People hear gun shots, pull out their gun, now we have 10 people with guns drawn shooting at each other, not knowing who's the bad guy. You must love living in a delusional world. Your head is a ready made movie theme starring Bruce Willis.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • s~

      scarf

      Conclusion is you can commit murder with almost anything and killers won't care what gun laws are passed... oh, and you're a smart-ass idiot....lol....

      August 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • DJSINPA

      @ Scarf. no, but the facts show that gun control does not work

      August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. John

    That's exactly right. Remove liberal access to guns. It doesn't mean that someone won't try to kill anymore, but it damn well won't be by simply walking into wal-mart and signing the FFL form and getting an assault-grade weapon with all the ammo they can carry out in a buggy.

    People in this country need to get their damn head on straight. Everyone I've seen purchasing these guns drives a truck sitting 10 feet off the ground with a pit-bull under each arm, a pregnant wife with kids already hanging off of her like a possum while she walks along holding burritos between her fingers like cigarettes. That's the level of folks all screaming for their right to have access to military grade assault weapons. It's nothing but ignorance and paranoia.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom

      Matched only by the ignorance, paranoia and bigotry displayed by your post.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • OregonTom

      John if all gun owners were ignorant and crazy as you say there probably would not be anyone left to be commenting here. Most firearm owners are kind responsible people. Some of them even vote Democrat.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • DJSINPA

      Why because New York's laws are working so well? Such a safe city.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      Stereotype much?

      August 24, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. danthefisherman

    13 shot in Chicago in a matter of minutes, Obama's home town. Narry a word?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • OregonTom

      Just reads the Chicago story. It does seem that violence in Chicago gets swept under the rug.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. sean

    This is from cbc.ca
    The Associated Press
    Posted: Aug 24, 2012 9:48 AM ET
    Last Updated: Aug 24, 2012 11:08 AM ET
    Video Content
    Play VideoNYC shooting scene LIVE11:59:59

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    Law officials confirm that two people are dead and several others have been shot outside New York City's Empire State Building, adding that the gunman is one of the deceased.

    Two law enforcement officials in New York City, who spoke on condition of anonymity, say a recently fired store worker who worked inside the building shot a former colleague to death and then randomly opened fired on others.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. tyler

    whats wrong with you, it's a shame people like you vote

    August 24, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
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