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. ronnie

    not linked to terrorism? whats terrorism again? hmm looks like he's not an arab then.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. California

    OWS at it again.

    OWS at it again.

    OWS at it again.

    OWS at it again.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. TparTpatriot

    Libs only know how to kill people. I guess all that abortion desensitized them to it.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dave

    PLEASE STOP using the god awful word "alledged" when talking about the shooter. He did it. He's laying dead on the damn sidewalk. There are no "allegations" here. He did it. STOP THE PC BS!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      It sounds like that really bothers you. I'm sorry.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. euphoni

    This is BS

    August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Justen

    False Flag attack to move us toward being more willing to give up our RIGHTS....beware of your government people–they do not have your best interests at heart.,

    August 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. BB6843

    When will americans learn... guns kill people. Why don't you just ban them I am certain this would make crime and homicides go down substantially.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justen

      Be willing to strip EVERYONE EQUALLY–your government, your military, your police–EVERYONE.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • monocle88

      Justen – that is a silly idea. a military without guns. I know your just trying to take it to an absurd extreme to try to prove a point. You can however make it illegal for the police to carry after they retire. You can also place a mandatory 10 year sentence to anyone selling a firearm. We have 2 million people in prison now – I'm sure we can make room for more.
      The only people who should have guns are law enforcement and active military and national guard.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Oshis

    Come on CNN what was his party affiliation? My guess he was a Democrat otherwise it would be blasted in the article if he was Republican

    August 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. robert

    he was fired over a year ago, wird don't you think.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. driranek

    The headline sez '10 shot', the actual article only mentions the 2 dead. What happened with the other 8?

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

      You can be shot and not dead. Logical thinking required here. Critical thinking. It's not that hard to figure out, is it?

      August 24, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • emma

      Fortunately, not everyone who is shot dies.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Guy was a bad shot. Missed his NRA class

      August 24, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Daddy2010

      They're not dead.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Whatever Bumpkin

      Did you REALLY ask that stupid of a question?

      Shot /= dead

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

    i support my right to keep and arm bears!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Aaron

    Regulation will solve this! It's been proven that outlawing guns destroys the human will to harm one another. Before the invent of firearms, history has shown there were no wars, homicides, or violence in general. Wait...

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

      For one terrifying second I thought you were serious.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • monocle88

      they were shot with guns. If the guy had a frying pan he would not have shot anyone in the head.
      Guns do that. They shoot people.

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

    Awful people are crazy!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kristin

    I'm gonna get me more guns to protect myself from these crazies. But, its just another good ole christian boy practicing his second amendment rights. It's a little ole mass shooting, no big deal. Just carry and protect yourself.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Matthew Gallagher

    They really should make it harder for people in New York city to buy guns there.

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