One man was killed and nine other people injured when a gunman murdered a former co-worker in front of the Empire State Building on Friday morning, before being shot and killed by New York City police officers. All streets and traffic around the building in the heart of midtown Manhattan were halted after the shooting which took place shortly after 9:00 a.m. More updates below as they come in:
12:20 p.m.: A relative of the victim identified him as 41-year-old Steven Ercolino, according to The Wall Street Journal.
11:30 a.m.: The suspect is 58-year-old Jeffery Johnson. He worked at Hazan Imports, as a designer of women's accessories, on 33rd Street until he was laid off about a year ago. He came to the building at 9:00 a.m. this morning and got into argument on the street with a former co-worker. Johnson shot the co-worker in the head with a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol, killing him, and then fled the scene. Nearby construction workers followed the man over to the 5th Avenue side of the building and alerted police officers. When they confronted him, the suspect pulled his weapon and fired on the police. They returned fired and killed him instantly. All of the wounded — two women, seven men — were hurt in the shootout, though it's not clear who fired which shots. The identity of the victim is being withheld until family can be notified.
11:22 a.m.: Mayor Bloomberg confirms that one person was 1 person was killed, at least nine other people shot. Some may have been shot by the police officers responding to the scene, but all of the wounded are expected to recover.
11:18 a.m.: Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly will be holding a news conference any minute now. You can watch it live right here:
10:35 a.m.: The New York Post is now saying there are two victims, a male co-worker of the shooter (presumably the person in the photos below) and a female bystander. Witnesses say the shooter was wearing a grey suit and was shot and killed by a police officer on patrol.
10:30 a.m.: Flickr user fotomcm has posted photos from the scene, that are quite graphic. Be warned the pictures show a dead body and blood on the sidewalk.
10:15 a.m.: NBC4 is now reporting that two people were killed, the gunman and one bystander.
ABC News in New York is reporting that NYPD sources confirm that at least four people civilians were shot and wounded, but no one was killed. They also said that the suspect is in "custody" and was shot, but could not confirm if he was killed. This picture from the helicopter appears to show one dead body on the sidewalk, covered in a sheet.
The FBI is involved in the investigation.
NBC4 is now reporting that the suspect was a "disgruntled employee" who worked at a business in the Empire State Building and that gunman is dead. They put the number of those shot and wounded at four, with no other deaths, though some others may have been wounded in the chaotic scene the followed. The New York Post says it was dispute between co-workers.