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. dave

    Look back at anytime when gun control was being pushed by the media and you will see the increased number of shootings. It always seems to coincide with elections.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ajrjar810911

    What caliber was the victim kill by? Because a lot of people say that the NYPD uses 9mm hand guns just wondering if that was true or false.. I ask the question really only because a lot of morons truly believe that a 9mm don't have what it takes to do the job.. As for me my 9mm is a keeper

    August 24, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TeddyBass

    Alot of free time, huh?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Not News

    What makes one guy killing another with a gun important now when it was not important last week when it was gang members accidentally shooting a 9 year old boy? I think people get off on news about mass shootings these days and the media looks for every opportunity to jump on that type of story to get more advertiser click-through at their web site and commercial views on their channel.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Angela

    I have never totally believed in religion and going to church. But when people like you turn, when people like you blame Christians and god loving people. It only puts me one step closer to the bible.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ObamaIsGodAwful

    The New City Police just topped the Chicago gangs for sootings per second.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Graham man

    If Obama can take credit for killing bin laden then he should accept responsibility for this stuff too.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Innocent

    Cops shot innocent people? I hope the people sue the City for all they are worth which is nothing.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lou50

    will be interesting to see how the nine ended up in the line of fire and why the police chose to engage him there. Just like hot pursuit is cut off when the possibility of collateral damage occurring.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.S.

      Your comment is disturbing. The police just did everything they could to stop a maniac killer and you are looking for an excuse to blame them? That is just wrong.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. OJ

    Home of the free, brave, and the shot at entertainment place.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jp

    Dear CNN, please remove this nutjob's posting. KTHXBAI

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • jp

      well, that was fast! THANKS!

      August 24, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ban all Guns

    Was it an "assault" .45 cal. pistol?

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. N

      It's an evil black pistol that has that thing which goes over your shoulder.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Blanchjoe

    This horrible incident should not become another Liberal Media Democratic Cry-Baby platform for anti-NRA or droconian Cun Laws. Of course it is horrible that some in our society must die now and then, but what is more important in the larger vien is that we good solid Americans, have the right to continue to purchase, own and buy arms to protect ourselves, and our loved ones from Criminals, Foreign Powers, Illegal Aliens, or Non-Christain religious fanatics!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chick Fool A

      As opposed to the Chriistian religious fanatics

      August 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • HollywoodPR

      Oh, please. Look at you trolling for reaction.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Brody

      You shoot illegal aliens? Yikes! I don't think that even the Supreme Court would interpret the 2nd amendment to give you the right to do that!

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

      You are frightening.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. junglecogs

    Bloomberg is such a dope. He is against citizens owning firearms, but praises his people when they use those tools to save lives. Get rid of this bum; bring back Rudy.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • maxersmom

      Oh please. Leave Rudy and his ego for FOX news community.

      August 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dubben

      Lots of guns = lots of murders. Many people are emotional and unstable. Give them a tool to create mass casualties on a whim and it will happen. Take that tool away, and it will happen with far less frequency, and society will be safer.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GRUDER007

    Good thing Bloomberg has banned guns....

    August 24, 2012 at 12:45 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