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. eqgold

    If just had more guns we'd be safe.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      I guess you've been spending too much time playing " Call of Duty" in your parents basement, eh? Moron.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. grafittix

    Yeah because we never had guns or shootings in this country before 2008, you moron.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jason Bourne

    GunMAN KILLS 1 NYPD kills 1 and shoots 8 innocent by standers. Good job america

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • liz

      The gunman shot the 8 by-standers not the NYPD try reading the story before you post. Capiche ?

      August 24, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. falseflagz

    More Fodder for Gun Grabbers.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. ken

    Imagine a world where only the police have guns... like in Canada.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • SnazzyGirl

      You mean regular Bob don't have guns in Canada? Deam On! Give it time, you may regret that statement.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Or a place where the police don't have guns either....the United Kingdom.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Great more ignorance from stupid Americans. We Canadians have lots of guns. We're just more responsible with them.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • USA Wake Up

      Agree, not sure why our murder rate and gun violence rate is more than 10 times higher than Canada, when fundamently we share the same values. I have friends in Canada and they just don't understand our fascination with guns given all the violence it leads to, one friend pointed out that we have about 6,500 murders by firearms annually and no one seems overally concerned about that.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      The police shot more people than the murderer did in this case.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. Peggy Munro

    Once more, is there a correlation between political hate speech and civilian violence?. It seems that whenever one party in particular speak it triggers anger and violence.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. grafittix

    please ignore the troll...

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. human liberal

    loving it I find 0 fault in the man who hunted down binladen!

    August 24, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. SnazzyGirl

    How can we link him to Islam?

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mary Jane

    Cops shooting wildly while hundreds of innocent people are in the vicinity is just atrocious. They all wanna be the Hero no matter the cost to innocent lives...Losers

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Brenda

    He was not laid off because of Democratic policies. Outsourcing and automation are more a Republican agenda.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. No Victim Disarmamant

    That has to be a lie, Guns are banned in NYC so this is just a fairy tale, OR VICTIM DISARMAMENT DOES NOT WORK.

    When will those who think they are the kings of the free people of the United States realize that banning ownership and carrying of firearms only helps criminals who will not obey anti gun laws.

    Stoopid is supposed to hurt, this kind of stoopid is and always will lead to innocent deaths.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • England

      Hey genius, It works very well in England. This NRA argument was dead before you shot it out of your mouth.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Mick

      Yes...if only a dozen or so citizens on the scene started spraying bullets through the crowd to stop the killer, everything would have turned out just fine.

      August 24, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • DR

      Guns are banned in NYC but in the US any sick, demented person can buy a gun at a gun show due to ineffective gun sale laws. And imagine if everyone on that street had a gun...more dead and injured...

      August 24, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. euphoni

    Things not making sense... I saw two dead bodies laying side by side on cnn

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I know. The article says two were killed including the gunman and then later in the article it says "a woman was also killed". That makes three...doesn't she count?

      August 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. clarke

    this has nothing to do with Obama. Get a grip

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Grizite mi Kurac i Muda

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

    MAY??? yes or not? It's not rocket science.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Chicana916

      I agree

      August 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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