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. Bukra!

    You poser. Nobody believes that you run a CCW class.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Will Jamison

    Bloomberg praised the victims for their willingness to get shot while totally defenseless. Instead having to wait on the police to show up and "save" them by shooting more of them. Yeah, thank God none of the victims could legally carry a gun, they might have accidentally defended themselves.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dghattierdc

      Well said, no toungue in cheel here. Praise those police officiers and their aim for not shooting more bystanders. I thought Bloomberg was trying to get rid of guns so innocents wouldnt be shot.

      August 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • malice420dotcom

      Chicago had 19 shootings last night and 23 last Friday night. Now their saying he had a McDonalds habit...

      August 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. In the real world

    I haven't heard the hole story but I think the man had been laid off do to downsizing ,maybe he had lost his house,healthcare, maybe his family,the point is we as a nation should start treating the disease instead of the symptoms. Just taking a gun away form someone won't stop this stuff from happening.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rhv70

    Just trying to understand the sequence of events here: J Johnson kills his former boss, then tries to get away and cops kill him and injure 8 others? Is it correct to say Johnson didn't injure any of the bystanders?

    August 24, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • J Hall

      But we can't "allow" private citizens to excersize their 2A rights and defend themselves in such situations,because it would result in innocent people getting hurt; best to let the "professionals" (government employees) deal with it,right liberals?

      August 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Will Jamison

    You're a liar.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  6. oldesalt

    You don't even have to be a "real man" to be a hero.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. thejigisupandgonein75days

    sadly, another victim of the Obama economy....you really want 4 more yars of this stuff....

    August 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • mikekuznar

      I'm a republican and I think this is one of the dumbest comments i've ever read

      August 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. djw663

    But NY has the tightest guns laws in the country so how could such a thing happen? LOL. Just like Chicago
    Nineteen people were shot across the South and West sides from Thursday evening through early Friday morning - 13 of them wounded over a 30-minute period, authorities say.
    Obama: 'Chicago Is an Example of What Makes This Country Great!

    August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Liz

    You sir, are a liar. You are not a CCW instructor and you know it! Be gone you government shill!

    August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jane Owen

    Funny this blogger doesn't know that 12:16 is PM, when it is after noon, and it's AM when it's after midnight.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hootyman

    > Real men don't need guns to be heroes.

    They do if they are confronted with bad guys with guns. Or I guess you mean that unarmed "real men" can get shot trying to take on an armed assailant and be called a hero for the fatal attempt.... uuhhmmm ok.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. enoturismo

    This is very fascinating, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to in quest of more of your great post. Also, I've shared your site in my social networks

    August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. J Hall

    Wait a second here!!!!

    I thought that bloomie had NYC all "gun controlled" and stuff?

    How could this happen with such strict "gun control"?

    Could it be?

    THAT "GUN CONTROL" DOESN'T WORK?

    August 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Zoe labella

    I was suppose to be on that block at the same time I walk that way to the train (penn) an I decided to miss my usual train rent a movie of I didn't do that I would of been at the shooting- its horrible!!!! People are crazy at least commit suicide don't go killing random people- I can't imagine the devastation this has caused to the victims and their families my heart goes out to all of you! 

    August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. eggmann

    Go figure. Most of this stuff is happening in gun-control States. Anyway, now I know why so many Federal agencies, SSA, NOAA, and others are stock-piling ammo. When Obama collapses the economy entirely, they're going to have to gun us down when we flip out like this poor soul. We're going to lose our jobs and the government is going to stop paying benefits, just like Greece had to do. Then, we who are starving, will be ginned down in the streets. It's coming. A bloodbath of our own citizens.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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