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. Curious

    A lot of the comments on this blog are more asinine then the following; Well was he happy while shooting the victims? If so did the police violate his rights while he was in "the pursiut of happiness"????

    People get a grip, one dead (i don't include the killer) many injured, THIS IS A TRAVESTY!!

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

      I think you mean tragedy.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Truth

    @Equity, right on my friend!

    Too bad that CNN is just another mouthpiece for Clippty Clop Clinton and Nanny Mikey Bloomberg!

    Would be nice if the media would report all the news, not just what is on the NWO script, eh?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. RAAUA

    A man chases people as he shoots at them. His actions caused many injuries a death of an innocent woman and himself, the suicide shooter. he terrorized a whole block, city, and country yet this is not handled as terrorism. why? ohhhhhh the shooter must be a white/european male. no cause for alarm people he was white so its not terrorism. whew! close call. good thing it wasnt a black or a mexican or a muslim uh? then it would be terrorism or gang related or drug related. the growing number of white boys loosing their minds and going around TERRORIZING our country and fellow countrymen is rapidly growing. weather they are upset about a black president or have been laid off due to poor work performance they find an excuse to kill in cold blood. Like Ive heard said to black people, take responsibility for yourselves and your actions. call it what it is. terrorism. not to put fear in my fellow Americans but what these white men have been doing is the very definition of terrorism. ny, co, ut, ok, terrorist!

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

      Get off your racist horse and get back to reality..people are crazy not races and cultures moron !

      August 24, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Alex

    These mass shootings are becoming common practice now.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • nick

      this WAS NOT a mass shooting, people! he had in mind to kill one man,and did so, everyone else hit was in crossfire. READ before jumping to conclusions.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. mike win

    I totally agree. Looks like we'll be losing more freedoms here soon.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Moggarella

    All the people making the "if everyone were armed, the shooter wouldn't have done this" point would probably freak if it turned out that a bunch of foreign tourists lining up to go inside the Empire State Building were carrying firearms.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. markishere

    At least the tourists got an accurate depiction of the US.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. DasShrubber

    Staged?? Are you really that dense. Please of not staging mass murders and then getting themselves killed.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Konoka

    Oh look the gun outlaws are working so well in New York City. I think we should know enough from our history to learn that banning something only leads to violence and disruption, maybe we can learn something from Texas.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc Magnus

      So, street drugs are legal in Texas, then?

      August 24, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • fidup

      Right with you Konoka, take the guns from people and the bad guys would still have them!

      August 24, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. GAW

    Looks like a lot of people posting here suffer from the Online disinhibition effect

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Stop the madness

    "Gunman, one victim die in shooting"

    So he made good on his thoughts of suicide and violence. " Wonder which med he was on?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Issues with Chinamen

    Thats exactly why

    August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. eli

    a dude getting laid off and shooting up his workplace is staged? Sounds pretty american to me

    August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. DasShrubber

    Staged?? Are you really that dense. People are not staging mass murders and then getting themselves killed. (correction auto correct)

    August 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  15. Greg

    How is that gun ban working, Mayor?

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