Shoot-Out Near Empire State Building

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Aug., 24, 2012: An NYPD officer stands near to the site where Jeffery Johnson, 53, shot and killed a co-worker Steve Ercolino, 41, on West 33rd street, in New York City. Johnson, a a designer of women’s accessories who had been fired from a Midtown Manhattan company named Hazan Imports a year ago, shot and killed Ercolino, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, on W 33rd street, New York City, on Friday morning, August 24, 2012. Johnson was then killed by New York City police officers in a hail of gunfire on 34th street, a short distance away from where he shot and killed Ercolino. Nine other people sustained injuries from flying bullets in the shooting.
According to New York Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, the murder took place at 9:03 a.m. on August 24th in front of 10 West 33rd Street. Johnson then fled eastbound on West 33rd Street to Fifth Avenue when he walked northbound along the curb-line with a .45-caliber handgun secreted in a black bag that he had under his arm.

A construction worker who had followed Johnson from West 33rd Street alerted two uniformed police officers who were on post in front of the Empire State Building’s Fifth Avenue entrance as part of our counterterrorism coverage. As the two officers approached Johnson he pulled his .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol from his bag and fired on the officers who returned fire, killing him. An additional nine individuals were either wounded or grazed during the exchange, six of whom were removed to Bellevue Hospital and three to New York Presbyterian/Cornell Medical Center.

Photo: Hayden Roger Celestin