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. Greninquisitor

    Another victim of the obama economy. How many more deaths will obama be responsible for?

    August 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John C

    Obviously banning guns doesn't prevent gun violence. Gotta wonder if guns were not banned in New York City if an armed citizen might have stopped the shooter before the police arrived and protected or saved others from injury or death.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • justice served

      the police caused injury to 10 people, only one of whom was the 'suspect'.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • MGray

      The only thing that would have made a difference is if two of Dunceburgs keystone cops had kept their weapons holstered or at least not fired without a clear target and background. Keystone cops and Keystone politicians making the rules in this country, no wonder the clowns are laughing.

      August 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AngryJew

    People, people, the real enemy of the USA is Israel and its supporter AIPAC

    August 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. justice served

    " 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."

    Then clearly, NYC cops shot 9 people.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • freecheese

      Just curious. The media seems to know his name and background, yet no photo. Do you think that means he is BLACK, and they are fearful of being called racist ?

      August 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • johna

      Of course if he were white you would know that by now I mean if you are going to give us a description of the perp give it all.

      August 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Omar

      Not even my kid shoots that bad.

      August 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mike

    Banning guns only results in creating "killing zones" where crazies KNOW there will be no one there to stop them..try that In Texas or Florida and some law abiding Concealed carry citizen would drop him like a sack of concrete after the first shot..amazing how the NYPD feels the need to empty their entire clips whenever they fire their guns..gun man kills ine and the NYPD takes out 18..seems to me the NYPD should take away officers guns and arm them with only tazers. they kill a hell of a lot more people than the crazies do..NY, what a screwed up place..now you guys know why Bloomturd carries a CW while prohibiting you from the same protection.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ken

    We should ban guns in NY IMMEDIATLY!

    Oh wait. They already are.

    Well then, we should have MORE cops.

    Oh wait, it was the cops that shot some of the people, and they are already have 80,000 police and conduct random, warrantless searches.

    Oh well, I just want the government to wave a magic wand and make everything ALL BETTER. No bad people!

    WAAAAHHH

    August 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Raged Manac

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

    The police show a total disregard for human life.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    Jeffrey Johnson notice the two word name. He is the real deal. If it was a three word name then you would know it was a setup.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. F ast and Fu rious Tr eason

    Gun control works for everyone except the victims.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. F ast and Fu rious Tr eason

    If Bloomberg had been doing his real job rather than exploring ways to intrude into private lives, this might not have happened.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Marxlamist Greed Runs a World in Need

    Once we get the Utopia Obama wants to build from America's ashes, such violence will be but a distant memory.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bryan

    "New York City is the safest big city in this country but we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence." Nine victims accidently shot by police? This was not a rampage. This was a premeditated murder and the police shot the innocent bystandards, not the murderer. Admit the fact Bloomberg and stop trying to push your political agenda.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. joe doakes

    I'm an imposter.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jack

    If just one citizen had been packing legally within site line of this POS, the death toll would have been two max, maybe only the POS (via good situational awareness of the "hero"). By the way? What is the law for packing?

    Oh yeah, cross fire????????
    Does the NYPD have greater leathal force flexibility than our MILITARY has in all the hell holes around the world?

    August 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Mel

    Some were wounded by police. I imagine Bloomberg wants to disarm them also.

    August 24, 2012 at 3:59 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