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. ObamaIsGodAwful

    Mayor Bloomberg is investigating whether the gunman had consumed more than 16 ounces of sugary drink today or if there were trans-fats in his system, to file additional charges against those provider the shooter with them as accessories to the shooting.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      but there's no guns in NY, this must be a mistake. Gun laws protect people.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yuwei

    Blame it on Obama. By attacking Bain Capital, he has now made firing employee a social injustice that pushes people to get mad when being fired.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeDee

      You're an idiot.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaIsGodAwful

      And Obama is getting what he wanted with his divisive words and acts, violence that empowers the government and weakens the people's resolve to maintain the means to defend against the aggessions of tyrannical government.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boo

      If you had a brain, you'd be dangerous...you're part of the problem in this country......stupid...

      August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • But...

      Sorry, but "going postal" happened before Obama was elected.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    lol.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hayrake

    When all copsncriminals (one word because sometimes you can't tell the difference) give up their guns, I'll give up mine.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    So the shooter got the one he aimed at while the police got 11 more? Gee I feel so safe knowing they are on the job to protect us.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mathmatician

      Technically, the 11 were:

      1 = intended victim of the shooter
      1 = the shooter
      9 = innocent victims shot by the police officers

      But yes, the shooter hit his mark without any other casualties caused by his gun (assuming that he wasn't able to get a shot off whenever he pulled his gun on all those armed police officers). It appears that ~90% of the victims were a result of "friendly-fire".

      August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. RoseMcB

    I'd prefer to see the coverage on these incidents minimalized as much as possible, particularly with regard to the perp. It just encourages the next beanbag to seek out his 15 minutes. I feel sorry for the victims, but please let's not go into these endless loops of blood, guts and tragedy for the next week every time. It only encourages.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen Lampry

      Agreed. I have my .38 in my purse. last line of defense. Just like an insurance policy, it is there when I need it.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • rich

      I agree 100%. The msm make celebrities out of these clowns.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. John in Charlotte, NC

    No apparent terrorism? Are you crazy. These terrorists are all over the place – Denver, Tuscon (Gabrielle Giffords,) now NYC. Who is next? They do not have Arabic names, but make no mistake – they are terrorists!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeDee

      I love Charlotte. Okay, back to the topic, just had to get that out.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DeeDee

    You're an idiot. Grow up.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. blueburner

    So the gunman kills 1 person and NYPD kills him....and 10 other people!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. us_1776

    Cops shoot 10 innocent bystanders and then shoot gunman.

    .

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Smithy

    test

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mona

    The peaceful American Christians!!!!!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. guest2448

    So, this is OB's fault because the guy had been laid off?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mar

      He has made the economy worse...

      August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mar

    Nine people were wounded or grazed in the crossfire, Kelly said.

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

    LOL ...What? seems police need gun control as well....

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Karen Lampry

    Did my post even go through?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99