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. Ken

    Nothing like having someone go "postal" on Friday....

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

    Go back to Jonestown...

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

    How could Mayor Bloomberg let this happen on his watch?

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

    Live life to the fullest EVERY day. You never know when some looser will decide to take it from you.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    Johnson pulled out his weapon to surrender, Johnson 1 police 11.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mona

    The peaceful American Christians!!!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. blueburner

    So more accurate headline is Gunman Kills 1, NYPD Kill 1, Shoot 10 Bystanders

    August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio Alvarez

      more like shot in the crossfire by either.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • inphinity9@yahoo.com

      That' the way I see it! Did these officers not have training to know that, unlike the movies, you CAN hit bystanders and kill them, sigh...

      August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smithy

    Please carry on with the hatred, drones, cluster bombs, Senators promulgating hatred all over. Neglect justice. Support one-sided OCCUPATION. Karma, baby, karma.

    America + Israel has 1000s of nukes but they prevent others from having a single one. Wake up and stop being Israel's slaves.

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

      AMEN

      August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Irene

    There is tooooooo much media paying attention to these killers!!! It's copycat killing!!! Stop putting killers pics all over the media!!!

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

    New York City is the safest big city in America, says Bloomberg. Today's shooting victim is unavailable for comment.

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

      it's a sewer with all of the undesirables you can think of festering like boils on a cat's rearend!

      August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bloomberg Protection

    Thanks to Bloomie no one has to fear any 16 oz drinks causing problems.

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

    Probably a language barrier is at play here. When the Dirtbag was told "You're Fired!, he probably heard it as YOU FIRE and he did. Seriously the Pro and Anti 2nd Amendment groups always make their case in situations like this. As for me, I carry at times simply because a COP is too heavy to carry.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BART

    but but but but but....NEW YORK IS A GUN FREE ZONE...

    August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jakartaman

    Idiot Bloomberg, Its not the gun violence – Its the obama policies that are creating our horrid economy and people losing jobs.
    This is on the head of Obama and all his supporters
    Expect much more as our economy goes down!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • 228rory

      Wow! That is a stretch.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • texas52

      You're 100% right. Obama gets re-elected it's gonna geta whole lot worse.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • livingasahuman

      It's true though. Division, hatred, and despair. Brought to you by your leadership.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. steve

    for all of you making what you think is "cute" comments, they aren't! This is serious. remember one thing, you may be next! it can happen anywhere and at any time. no one is protected against a random shooting. have some compassion!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      The only (random) shooting was by the police!

      August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. N

      No, no one is protected, but that is especially true in places that don't allow civilian concealed carry. Exhibit A: Today's headlines.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
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