The shootout outside the Empire State Building between police and a gunman apparently bent on revenge was captured in grainy surveillance video released by the New York Police Department.
The video, recorded by an NYPD surveillance camera, picks up at the end of a narrative police described Friday: Outside an apparel store near the tourist-packed landmark in Midtown Manhattan, 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson pulled a pistol on a former colleague and repeatedly shot him in the head.
In the pandemonium that followed, at least nine other people were wounded, some hit by police gunfire. None suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.
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Johnson had been a T-shirt and accessories designer for the company, Hazan Imports, for six years, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said. Johnson was fired last year. He had a grudge against company vice president Steve Ercolino, 41, police said, and felt his designs were not getting the promotion they deserved.
After he opened fire on Ercolino, police said, Johnson walked away, leaving screaming pedestrians, a body and a pool of blood behind him. Someone called police officers stationed nearby.
His exit is where the video begins. The footage shows a Manhattan sidewalk and a fragment of street as seen from above. A man in a suit – who police said is Johnson – walks near the curb, separated from a dozen pedestrians by a row of large concrete planters.
Traffic goes by. People, unaware, wait for buses.
Then, two police officers sprint into the picture. The man in the suit reaches into his briefcase, pulls out a pistol and whirls around toward the officers, who are behind him. They split up and appear to fire at the man.
Pedestrians scatter. People at the bus stop sprint from their bench. With all three guns still out, Johnson drops his briefcase and falls to the sidewalk.
As he crumples, one of the officers reaches for the radio on his belt. A bus lumbers by, its right turn signal on.
“The tape clearly shows the guy has the gun out and was trying to kill the police officers,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. The mayor, a proponent of stricter gun laws, had been discussing the issue on a local radio show when the shooting erupted.
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