[UPDATE] Two Dead, Nine Wounded in Shooting Near Empire State Building This Morning

NYPD: Gunman kills his 41-year-old former manager, two women and seven men wounded; shooter killed by police officer.

A 53-year-old Manhattan man who was fired from his apparel-industry job a year ago opened fire near the Empire State Building in NYC at about 9 this morning, killing his 41-year-old former manager and wounding two women and seven men, according to New York City Police.

The gunman, using a .45 caliber handgun, reportedly confronted a former coworker in front of the company's office on West 33rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, according to officials at a press conference this morning.

He killed the man via shots to the head, police said, and a construction worker who witnessed it alerted police who were stationed on an anti-terrorism post nearby.

The shooter, identified as Jeffrey Johnson, was described as a clothing designer who was recently let go in downsizing efforts after years of employment at Hazan Import Corporation. Two New York Police Department cops shot after he allegedly opened fire on them, Mayor Bloomberg stated at this morning's press conference.

An FDNY spokesman said they received a call just after 9 a.m. today for a shooting.

One witness told Fox 5 News the gunman was shooting "indiscriminately" at people.

The New York Post reported that 10 people were shot and police killed the gunman. One female that was shot is dead, according to the New York Post.

ABC 7 News is reporting that this was a "workplace dispute" that lead to the shooting. This was confirmed by NYPD. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims of today’s tragic shootings and their families," said New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. "For those of us in government, and in law enforcement, the news of yet another mass shooting so close on the heels of the massacres at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and in Aurora, Colorado, should make it crystal clear that our current laws have failed to protect the public from gun violence. We must redouble our efforts to protect public safety so that New Yorkers don’t have to live in fear of the next deadly attack.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly briefed the press on the incident around 11:30 a.m., stressing that it was not terrorist-related. 

The nine victims—two women and seven men—who were reportedly hit or grazed by bullets exchanged during the gunfire, do not appear to have sustained life-threatening injuries. Bloomberg and Kelly would not release information on their identities, but said there were no children or elderly individuals involved.

Stacey Matusow, a White Plains resident who works nearby at 36th St. and 6th Ave. said she heard about the incident from a co-worker after a meeting.

"It's scary, working near the Empire State building is obviously a scary thing because there are lots of scary things that go on in New York City," she said, adding that many of her co-workers walk through West 33rd St. on their way to work. "It could have been me... literally it was two blocks away."

Matusow said the streets were impassable when she went outside during her lunch break at about 12:30 p.m.

"All the streets were blocked off," she said. "The stores were closed, they were all roped off you couldn't get there."

Traffic is being diverted around the Empire State Building as officials continue their investigation. More information is expected to be released later in the day.

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Nummy August 25, 2012 at 04:16 AM
"I see that the Patch still does not have an editor or proof reader." Hey! holy smart one proofreader is one word.
Not as clever as I think August 25, 2012 at 05:27 AM
@ nummy, Ha hahahahahahahaha
ingeborg oppenheimer August 25, 2012 at 02:18 PM
my solution to this epidemic of slaughter by guns: 1. no guns permitted in the hands of civilians except under strictly monitored conditions, said monitoring including mental health professionals. 2. all current and future police personnel being evaluated for personality factors related to precipitous behavior under stress and other risks for "mistaken" shootings. 3. laws relating to illegal gun possession being severe enough to make someone think twice before obtaining a gun.
Bob Rohr August 25, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Ingeborg, that is not going to happen. It is not practical. The number of firearms in private hands is too great. A 100 year old pistol can still be serviceable. There needs a more creative solution. What you propose would only send them further underground.
Walden Macnair August 25, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Bob, I think you're right. There are about 300 million guns in the hands of civilians in this country so we're not going to get them back. Maybe we should treat this problem as a public health problem similar to the way we treated smoking. There's been a significant decrease in smoking which was achieved through education and peer pressure and that might be a good model to start with. I also think leaving gun laws to the states is a mistake but I can hear the pro-gun groups screaming already. In other countries there is one law for the entire country and that allows them more control.
Sick-n-Tired August 25, 2012 at 05:40 PM
If the intended victim had a gun he might still be alive.
Issy August 25, 2012 at 05:49 PM
"If the intended victim had a gun he might still be alive"......... or more likely more people would have been killed in some wild-west shoot-out.
Sick-n-Tired August 25, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I know there are arguments on both sides of the fence for this incident but who are you going to care about when the bullets are flying Issy? I bet it will only be about yourself. Would you rather be able to protect yourself or just trust fate?
Issy August 25, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Fate has nothing to do with it. Having been shot at (by a nut with a machine gun) and held at gun-point, I would rather trust my ability to duck, run and hide, The fact that all the by-standers were shot by trained Police Officers does not bode well for the outcome if vigilante civilians were adding to the chaos.
Walden Macnair August 25, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Issy, Today in Connecticut a seven year old boy shot his neighbor. I couldn't help but think if only there was an 8 year old with a legal weapon, he could have stopped this.
KAH August 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Thank you for pointing out the absurdity of that oft recited argument.
Bob Rohr August 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Walden, there is no quick fix. What happened in NYC was not a random crime. It was deliberate and could have been done with a hammer or a rock. It was carried out like an assassination rather than a crime. From the video it looks like a suicide by Police which is not uncommon. The larger problem is that both sides of this issue push each other to the wall so a middle ground is difficult to find. The sales of firearms has zoomed with all this Gun ban talk. That is a fact, double digit increases. So all this gun ban talk has the opposite effect. More weapons are out there than ever before. The other sad fact is that States that have a more liberal licensing policies have dropped in crime. States with strict policies it has risen. It is very complex and there is no quick fix..
Watchdog August 25, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Issy August 25, 2012 at 08:16 PM
You do realize that the Gun-ban talk was a scare tactic from the gun lobbyists not those who advocate gun CONTROL. When Obama was elected the lobbyist lied that Obama was going to take people's guns away when in fact Obama has proposed no legislation or even expressed an opinion on gun control.
Teleman August 25, 2012 at 09:44 PM
I live in New York, there is already a gun ban here, it mirrors the 1994-2004 Clinton "assault weapons ban"
Teleman August 25, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Such a mature comparison, I'm sure it was the guns fault, not how or where it was stored.
Teleman August 25, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Wow, i'd love to hear your definition of " strictly monitored conditions", and gee, i thought the laws for illegal gun posession were pretty tough as they are. We all know that the war on drugs has been such a success, so yeah, lets pass some more laws.
Sick-n-Tired August 26, 2012 at 01:32 AM
I think you watch too much TV to think trained police officers can control where their shots got when aiming at a person who is pointing a gun at them. Did you ever stop to think that possibly maybe the bullets passed through the intended target and struck another person? Bottom line is there is too much going on in such a short amount of time for you or anybody else to play Monday morning quarterback on the actions of the police. As for a nut with a gun I too have in that situation more than once and I rather rely on my instincts for self defense then just duck and pray that everything will come out alright.
Sick-n-Tired August 26, 2012 at 01:35 AM
I read that story. The kid shot his neighbor with his own gun when he was showing it off. Your comparing apples to oranges. Stupidity vs a crime.
Robert E August 26, 2012 at 04:00 AM
All but one person in NYC were shot by the police. It is the police who are a danger and need to be disarmed not the public.
Tom Truth August 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Now there's an intelligent reply. Let's disarm the bad police. So absurd it doesn't even deserve an explanation.
Tom Truth August 26, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Disarming police obviously is not an answer, but this incident will be closely reviewed, and may point to the need for additional training. Sixteen rounds under these particular circumstances may be excessive, given that the suspect did not fire back, and this was a fairly close-range incident. But that is something that will need to wait until the investigation runs its course.
Angel125 August 26, 2012 at 12:23 PM
You are right Robert.The police need more training.I have watched them shoot at a range and not for nothing they are not great shots.Police are not supposed to panic shoot they are supposed to be in charge of that gun. It showed on the street that they were not. Just saying,my opinion.
The Entertainer August 28, 2012 at 10:31 AM
If everyone carried a weapon, there would be less crime. There would be a lot less mass shootings, the perp would be taken out much quicker. A coward would not mess with someone if they knew they were packing
Concerned mom August 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Omg are you serious???? If everyone carried a weapon??? When someone is about to shoot someone th ey don't give them an opportunity to defend!! They just approach and shoot. Think of the crazy people who would shoot if you look at them wrong, or road rage......does that really make sense to you????
Robert E August 28, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Concerned Mom it has been proven that when gun laws loosened and more people carry a gun the amount of violent chrime decreases. The states and cities with the the toughest gun laws have the highest rates of violent crime. Florida had a high crime rate until they removed the laws preventing people from carring a conceiled weapon. Now anyone who does not have a felony in Florida can carry a concieled weapon and crine has dropped dramaticly.
Walden Macnair August 28, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Although it is an NRA wet dream that guns reduce crime, statistics actually show the opposite. States with stricter gun control have lower per-capita homicide rates. Florida by the way has 5.2 murders per 100,000 and New York has 4.5 per 100,000. So although you may have seen a nominal reduction in crime in Florida, you're still more likely to be murdered there than in New York. Louisiana, which requires no permit to buy a handgun, nor any requirement to register it unless you apply for a concealed carry permit has a per-capita homicide rate of 11.2 more than double New York. If that doesn't convince you, the next time you're walking down the street, think about all those folks having guns.. Now that's a scarey thought.
Sick-n-Tired August 28, 2012 at 09:41 PM
It's more scary to think I cannot defend myself or family properly.
The Entertainer September 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Of course the Anti- gun people want you to think it would be like the wild west. Quite the opposite though! The sensible people who take the time for proper training, registration, and the safety programs are exactly the people I want living in my community.
Angel125 November 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM
So what.Stop reading then.


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