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.

Are you there? Share your story

• 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. the other canadian

    sorry
    I'll correct myself
    Go Mitt/Paul! Go Romney/Ryan! ;)

    August 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EU

    The guy just wanted to take care of one particular a..., and to walk away peacefully after that. So – 9 others getting shot is the police's fault.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mark

    So let me get this straight. Guy shoots and kills one guy he (I assume) targeted because he was PO'd over job stuff.
    He attempts to flee the scene and the pigs shoot NINE MORE BYSTANDERS trying to get him. Does anyone else see something inherently wrong here?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • capemayor

      Try being a cop and see how easy it is. Have some respect.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJD

      So Mark, you were there and saw the POLICE OFFICERS shoot bystanders? Maybe you need to shut up. You and the other opinionated out of towners.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • jef

      Right on Mark. Its obvious the NYPD doesn't understand gun safety and probably should be disarmed... especially the ones who surround hypocrite Bloomberg.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. drphill

    Sure, blame the NRA.........again!! Shootings always make headline news. Yesterday in Philadelphia, a mother beheaded her 2 year old child and then killed herself by sticking a knife in her own neck. No national headline news on that one.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Andrey

    What a lot of the pro gun lobby are missing is the EFFICIENCY with which a gun can kill. This is the reason they need to be controlled. You can't kill with anywhere near the same efficiency with other weapons.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • FoolKiller

      Ah! So you don't object to violence, just to efficiency. Inefficient killers take note.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Tell the dozens of people killed and injured in each of the bomb and vehicular violence incidents the last few years that "guns are the most efficient way of killing", I would love to see their reaction.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. TooClose2DC

    "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"

    Come on CNN take a minute to read before you post.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • FoolKiller

      The shooter killed one individual. then fled. When later pointed out to police, he turned with gun in hand, and was shot by police. It is unknown if he fired on them first, or at all. What's your question?

      August 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • hues

      I am so confused by this article! Makes no sense. I know less facts by reading it than I did before. A big red F on the top of this assignment.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SCOTT

      THEY ARE REFFERING TO SHOTS FIRED AT POLICE

      August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. redONE

    money it all comes down to money plain and simple no job = no money

    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tvel

    so how's that police state/state-of-the-art-big-brother-national-securtiy-crime-prevention-tax-dollar-sucking-TrapWire-surveillance spy cam system working out for ya Bloomberg?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bradley

      This comment deleted by CommieNN in 3...2...1

      August 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • militarymike

      The man was killed at the scene. The system does not predict the future. Not sure what your point is.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Malakia

    What a SICK SICK SICK country we are! Ciizens don't need handguns or assault rifles. Only law enforcement should have guns.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • bradley

      This guy was law enforcement? Ya didn't think so

      August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • gollygee

      oh yeah, that will help. how many people died today in car crashes in NYC? Ban cars next because they take lives too...often times in accidents, not planned attacks like this.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • DriftSS

      You are free to choose to not arm yourself...and based on current reported facts certain police officers should choose that option too if its true that many of the victims were killed by the police. Horrible collateral damage from poor marksmanship. However, for the rest of us law-abiding citizens, we aren't going around killing people and are free to choose to arm ourselves for protection or any other legal use... This is just another stupid excuse to get anti-gun nuts up in arms...

      August 24, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tones

      When only the gov't is allowed to possess firearms then we have a totalitarian regime !!!! We don't want that at all !

      August 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • duckforcover

      It looks as though more people were shot by police than the "shooter". Poorly trained officers with too much firepower and very little training or a practiced armed citizen using one or two shots- how would the outcome have changed?

      August 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Let's see, a guy w a pistol in Bloomberg's people's republic. Want to bet it was illegal Malakia

      August 24, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      You can't be serious.

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

      Sounds like the cops killed 10 people?

      August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • d nokia

      ya, just lets just give it all to the government. They will take good care of us.. you Dolt. you don't deserve peace or security because you want to give up your freedom.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Just hang on to that Marxist ideal when I have to sit by idle as the phsyco takes the time to empty his entire magazine one round at a time into yourself and the other unarmed people in the crowded theatre, because it is a "no gun" zone.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dee Mee

    NYPD is a joke! Not long ago a bunch of cops(pigs) unloaded their weapons on a guy who was holding a knife!
    What kind of training are these pigs having? -Just a bunch "wanna be heroes" and "trigger happy" , untrained, uneducated fools!
    NYPD is a joke!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      tell that to those killed in 9/11

      August 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      An investigation would be needed to know why 9 innocent people were shot by the police.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lena Simone

      Sometimes that rings true. However, in this situation, they reacted properly. Easy to make assumptions if you are working with second hand facts. I myself am definitely not a fan of the NYPD because of your precise description of them. However, the scene this morning was nuts. A disgruntled jewelry designer who was fired a year ago, decides today to kill his co-worker? And his co-worker, not his boss? Not exactly sure how much sense that makes or how true it is but I know what I physically saw with my own eyes. This guy needed to be taken down and NYPD reacted responsibly and with caution.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mark

    What the hell is 'a socialism'? Stupid chink.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. 2/8

    Wow, how many does that make so far this month? What's wrong with you guys over there in Americuh. Can't solve your problems without shooting someone? Keep it up guys, you're looking good.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. olepi

    Just what we need, another crazy with a gun.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Juan Carlos Queipo

    One Chinese Student go back to your communist country and learn how to spell !!!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BooBoo

    Christians killing Christianns like Islamists killing Islamists

    August 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikeh6280

      Why people like you keep saying this is a christian thing. It's not about being a christian stop and think you post a dumb comment.

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