Disgruntled ex employee kills his former boss at Empire State Building, 9 others injured before cop shoots him.
Angry ex employee, Jeffrey Johnson gunned down a former coworkers on a busy Midtown street and then turned his weapon on police officers right in front of the Empire State Building — and in the ensuing gun battle he was killed and nine pedestrians were struck, some by cop bullets. The 9 a.m. mayhem sent commuters and tourists in a panicked scramble from the jam-packed intersection of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
The shooter was Jeffrey Johnson, 53, who had been fired two years ago from Hazan Imports at 10 W. 33rd Street, around the corner from the scene.
The body of the killers victim, Steve Ercolino, seen on the sidewalk before police arrived at the scene.
He returned there today with the gun and waited for his victim, a former co-worker identified as 41-year-old Steve Ercolino.
After fatally shooting his former boss Ercolino in the head, he walked down 33rd Street with the gun concealed and was confronted by a pair of construction workers who gave chase, said Kelly.
At that point, cops on anti-terror patrol drew their weapons on Johnson and he opened fire.
“The guy has his gun out and is trying to shoot police officers,” Bloomberg said.
The cops unleashed a torrent of shots, cutting down the suspect and possibly hitting some of the nine innocent bystanders who were caught in the mayhem.
One of the victims, a woman from the Bronx, in her 20s, was on her way to Dunkin Donuts for her morning coffee when she heard the gunfire and realized she’d been shot.
“She saw blood and said ‘Who got shot?’ and then she looked down and it was her. She never saw the gunman,” said her pal, Chris Collins, a 44-year-old lab tech at NYU. A victim is aided by a bystander after a shooting at the Empire State Building today. “I said, ‘Erica, is that you?’ She was lying on the floor bleeding. She said, ‘I don’t want to die, I hope I don’t die. I don’t want to lose my leg.’
“In the ambulance we were laughing about it on the way to the hospital. There was another man in the ambulance – he got shot in the butt.”
“This is the last thing you are expecting to see walking to work – someone shot dead in broad daylight in Midtown,” said Sid Dinsay, who works on Fifth Avenue.
“I am shocked – something like this is enough to rattle your nerves. My nerves are rattled right now.”
Dinsay said he heard noise on 33rd street and saw construction workers running on scaffolding of Empire State Building, looking down onto the street. He thought a piece of equipment had fallen.
“I saw a guy lying there covered in blood,” he said. “He was in his late 30s. People around him were crying, a police scooter was whizzing by. It was chaos.”
Austrian visitor Raphael Riegler, 19, said he heard the shots while lining up for tour boat tickets.
“Behind me the shooting started. In the middle of the street and a man in a blue jacket fell down,” he said, referring to a tour bus operator.
“Another man was shot in the foot. He tried to run run run, he fell at the bus stop.
“We ran for cover into a store. Police shot the aggressor, I hope he is dead/
“I’ve never seen anything like that.”
The FBI is assisting in the investigation, which has caused a traffic nightmare in Midtown that has effectively shut down all of the streets around the scene.
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