A gunman reportedly exchanged gunfire with police in a crowded area this morning outside New York’s Empire State Building, leaving at least two people dead — including the shooter — and injuring at least eight others, CNN reports.
Contradictory details continued to surface today as TVWeek approached its publishing deadline, but in a press conference New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the shooting was believed to stem from a dispute between co-workers. Eyewitness accounts indicated that the shooter chased after a man and shot him in the head and that an unarmed security guard chased the gunman down 5th Avenue.
New York police said the shooter was one of the two people initially known to be dead, with witnesses saying he was shot at least three times. The man was wielding a large gun, described initially as a shotgun but later identified by authorities as a 45-calibre handgun.
“Local and federal authorities converged on the building around 9 a.m. after reports of gunfire, and have since closed several streets around 5th Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan,” the story reports.
The shooter was identified during Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference as Jeffrey Johnson, who apparently had been laid off from his job and may have returned to shoot his former boss. The man reportedly wore a business suit and carried a briefcase during the shooting.