Gunman Opens Fire Outside Empire State Building Killing 2, Wounding 9
An out-of-work fashion designer fatally shot a former co-worker near the Empire State Building on Friday and was then killed in a blaze of gunshots by police, stunning tourists and commuters outside of one of New York’s most popular landmarks.
Nine bystanders were wounded, possibly all of them by police bullets, though none of their injuries were life-threatening, police said. Much of the day, police listed the casualty total at 10 people but late Friday changed the number to 11.
Officials said women’s accessories designer Jeffrey Johnson, 58, had been laid off from Hazan Imports a year ago and that while working there, had been locked in a dispute with the victim. Police said Johnson had claimed the victim failed to sell enough of his creations and held a grudge.
Investigators were attempting to determine whether Johnson shot anyone beyond his initial target. All nine of the surviving victims could have been hit by the two police officers who shot at Johnson, officials said.
Several were likely hit by police bullets that ricocheted off large, anti-terror concrete flower pots stationed outside the Manhattan landmark, police said.
Other than its proximity, the Empire State Building had no link to the violence. Mayor Michael Bloomberg ruled out any connection to terrorism.
Photo Credit: (NY Times)