Empire State Building shooting leaves 2 dead, 8 injured


A view of the Empire State Building on April 30, 2012. A shooting outside the building occurred today around 9 a.m.


Timothy A. Clary

A shooting near New York City's Empire State building left two dead, including the suspected gunman, and eight injured.

The shooting occurred on Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street at approximately 9:00 a.m. this morning. 

Speaking at a press conference, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed officers from the New York Police Department shot dead the suspected gunman, but they may have accidently hit innocent bystanders. No children were involved in the shooting. 

All eight injured are expected to recover.

The Associated Press identified the suspected gunman as Jeffrey Johnson, 53.

CNN reports the suspected gunman lost his job from Hazan Imports one year ago. The victim he allegedly killed was a former co-worker. Bloomberg said the incident "had nothing to do with terrorism." 

The New York Post described the gunman as "a disgruntled worker" who "stalked a colleague down a Midtown street, shot him dead and then turned his weapon on random pedestrians outside the Empire State Building."

Business Insider quoted an eyewitness saying, "We all heard like a ton of gunshots go off and looked to the left. There was three people down, there was mass chaos."

The witness added, "We didn't see the shooter. We didn't see anyone. We just saw the victims."

Twitter user @NYScanner tweeted around 9:15 a.m.: "Manhattan: 5 Ave & East 34 St Empire State Bldg 5 people shot. Perp shot by NYPD is DOA on scene, EMS requested on a rush."

And a few minutes later:

"U/D Manhattan: 5 Ave & West 34 St/Empire State Bldg Total of 7 people shot Perp DOA 1 in serious condition All others in stable condition."


[View the story "Manhattan shooting: Twitter reacts" on Storify]