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. Gyno_American

    This is your fault Bloomberg! You are as complicit as the person who pulled the trigger. How many lives must be lost before you admit you are wrong on the 2A.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tracey Bond Girl 007 days

    Tracey Bond Girl "007" says..."The social tethers restraining lawlessness are threadbare...what must those craving peace in the land do? Pray!"

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

    I would like to express my sympathies to the victims, and also express sympathies to the victims of 9/11 who have to keep hearing reporters compare this to 9/11. The Aurora shootings could be compared to Columbine...but comparing this tragedy to the massive death and destruction that occured on 9/11 is absurd.

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

    Two hours have passed, isn't this about the time the media blames, Right Wing Extremists or Sarah Palin?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Hogan's Goat

      They learned from the Loughner case. He demanded life or he'd admit he was inspired by Palin's lock and load website(whether it was true or not). Just as well they shot this one cold. Probably has a picture of Newt in his wallet.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. IronMike

    MORE guns... we need more guns. Wait, I need N-U-K-E-S to defend my family against the gun carrying crazies. N-U-K-E-S for everyone.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Farrah

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

    It created "Terror"...thus, it IS Terrorism!!! Educate yourself, officers!!!!!!

    Oh wait!! Maybe only Muslims, if they had committed this act, then would have been "terrorism!!"

    August 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. ray

    The din of the blabbering on this subject is incredible. Meet in the street a noon and settle this. Don't forget your weapons.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Arthur

    NRA says Guns dont kill people...people kill people...when are we goin to stop the gun violance. when are we going to stop the NRA!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. dajowi

    The guy apparently designed women's purses. I wonder if he kept his gun in "his" purse?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ol' Yeller

    @Frank- You are a hoot. The conservatives just had a Judge from TX ginning up you right wing morons with talk of civil war and NATO troops killing citizens... and the "LIBERALS" are living in a fantasy world?
    Really?

    When and where are you planning your big shoot? How many you think you will take out? You open to shooting children, cause the Colorado shooter upped his count by doing that.
    May none of YOUR family members ever be killed by a crazed right wing loon, you crazed right wing loon.

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

      My fellow citizen, Shutup.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. jim

    NYC really needs strict gun laws that prevent.....oh wait 😦

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

      Oh man that is so witty! You're right- let's lift the ban in nyc! That's the answer!

      August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Justen

    The only gun control we need–is more range time..take a gun off the streets...buy one today.

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

      this is rule of god. how many nations did you ruin, your own people will exterminate you, culturally, morally, economically and above all physically

      August 24, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • AverageJoe76

      Yayy! I support death, killing, and maiming as well. It's soooooo real.

      -C'mon buddy...... let's go twist the head off a few rabbits!!

      August 24, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Daremonai

      I don't know... last I checked cops get plenty of range time in, and it sounds like they managed to hit people in the crossfire. I imagine vigilantes would do even worse.

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

    seek help man.

    seriously

    August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Antigun sane person

    Guns are for psychos.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. But...

    MyFeels, you absolutely MUST be a Teapublican. Combo of bigotry and stupidity.

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