Graphic Images Of The NY Victim, Graphic Images Of The NY Shooter.
A fired women’s apparel designer shot dead a former colleague outside the Empire State Building in New York City before he was killed by police.
Nine others were hit by bullets, some possibly fired by police, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
Those wounded suffered minor injuries and all were expected to survive.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly named the shooter as 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, who lived in Manhattan. His victim was Steven Ercolino, 41.
The shootout took place in the heart of Manhattan, in front of one of the world’s most widely recognised landmarks, soon after 09:00 (13:00 GMT) when the area was packed with commuters and tourists.
“This was a terrible tragedy. We are not immune to the national problem of gun violence,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
Commissioner Kelly said the suspect had been fired about a year ago from his job at Hazan Imports, located near the Empire State Building.
He said Johnson was laid off during downsizing after six years as an employee.
The gunman and his victim had traded accusations of harassment when they worked together, Commissioner Kelly added.
He said the “disgruntled” worker fatally shot a former colleague in the head. Armed with a .45 calibre pistol, he fired at his victim three times.
A man who answered the phone at the victim’s home said he was too distressed to talk, the Associated Press reported.
“He was a good son, that’s all I can say,” said the man, who did not give his name.
Commissioner Kelly said that a construction worker had followed the gunman, and alerted two police officers on duty outside the Empire State Building.
Surveillance video showed the attacker pulling his gun out of a bag and pointing it at two officers. The police then fired 14 rounds and killed Johnson, Commissioner Kelly added.
Johnson is not thought to have had a criminal record. Officials do not yet know whether the attacker’s gun was acquired legally.
There was a heavy police presence earlier at the scene on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, and the FBI also attended.
Television helicopters hovered overhead filming the scene, where a body could be seen covered in a white sheet.
Federal officials said the shooting was not related to terrorism.
Fifth Avenue, a major traffic artery in the city, was closed from 42nd street.
‘Stream of blood’
Witnesses described people running away from the scene.
“People were yelling ‘Get down! Get down!” accountant Marc Engel, who was on a bus when the gunshots rang out, told the Associated Press.
“It took about 15 seconds, a lot of ‘pop, pop, pop, pop’, one shot after the other.”
Afterwards, people who had been wounded were lying on the pavement and one person was “dripping enough blood to leave a stream”, Mr Engel added.
Rebecca Fox, 27, said she saw people running down the street and initially thought it was a celebrity sighting.
Then she saw a dead man on the ground. “I was scared and shocked and literally shaking,” she said.
Eyewitnesses said the gunman had been wearing a business suit.
One woman, Aliyah Imam, told TV station Fox 5 News that the attacker was “shooting indiscriminately at people”.
She said a young woman standing next to her fell to the ground after being shot.
One of New York’s most popular tourist attractions, the Empire State Building is a 1,453-ft (442-metre) skyscraper, which attracts nearly four million visitors a year.
The tower also has offices and the area is bustling with workers on weekday mornings.
The shooting comes less than two weeks after a man wielding a knife was shot dead by police near another busy landmark, Times Square.
Police say Darrius Kennedy, 51, had been smoking marijuana and was killed after lunging at officers with a kitchen knife.
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