Still images taken from surveillance video show gunman Jeffrey Johnson being shot by police officers near the Empire State Building in New York August 24, 2012. Two people were killed and at least eight wounded in a shooting on Friday, creating chaos and shocking tourists and commuters who witnessed the bloody scene. A 53-year-old fashion accessories designer, disgruntled over being fired a year ago, shot and killed a 41-year-old former co-worker three times with a .45 caliber handgun on a sidewalk near the landmark building, officials said. (Photo : Reuters)
Details of the Empire State Building shooting emerged Saturday, where a 58-year-old unemployed fashion designer opened fire near his former employment.
Jeffery Johnson, allegedly shot and killed a former co-worker early Friday on West 33rd Street. Johnson shot Steve Ercolino, 41, with a .45-caliber handgun at about 9 a.m. The men previously worked together at Hazan Imports until Johnson was laid off last year.
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After shooting Ercolino at least five times, Johnson was then shot and killed by New York City police. Nine bystanders in the busy area were also wounded by the police officers.
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly denied that Johnson had fired at cops after shooting Ercolino in a press briefing in Harlem on Saturday morning, Newsday reported.
"After shots were fired yesterday, we had a witness who said that Johnson fired at police; that was not the case. Neither round had indication, meaning the pin struck the round. We believe the gun was still functioning when he killed Ercolino," Kelly said.
The nine bystanders were injured when police officers fired 16 shots at Johnson, hitting him at least seven times, Newsday reported. According to the Long Island paper, three people remained hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries Saturday morning.
Johnson, a former Coast Guard member in the 1970s, was described as a quite and friendly man in his Upper East Side neighborhood. According to the Chicago Tribune, neighbor Gisella Casella said, "Nothing seemed to bother him. He loved animals. I thought he was the sweetest guy. I think he snapped."
Ercolino, of Warwick, was Vice President of Hazan Import Corp and was blamed by Johnson for his loss of employment.
Reuters reports that Johnson and Ercolino had a history of animosity, with both filing police complaints against each other in the past.
Video released by police on Friday showed the confrontation between Johnson and police lasted less than 10 seconds.