9.00pm: NYPD Commissioner Kelly says that the shooting happened in front of building and the gunman is identified as Jeff Johnson. “Johnson fired at police who were alerted to his presence by bystander, cops fired back killing him. He used a pistol,” he says.
Kelly said that the alleged shooter, Johnson, had no criminal history and had been laid off by apparel company Hazan Import Corp a year back.
Giving more information about the alleged shooter, Kelly says, “Jeff Johnson, 53, lived in Manhattan as per authorities. He used .45 caliber pistol.”
8.50 pm: Mayor Bloomberg confirms that it was a work place related shooting. He says that a disgruntled employee was shot and killed by police officers after he allegedly shot several people near the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan. “Some victims, not in serious condition, may have been shot by cops accidentally,” he says. He adds, “Have on tape that the gunman pulled his gun out and tried to shoot at police.”
Bloomberg said he expects injured victims will recover. However, he stressed that there is no connection to terrorism. ‘It’s a murder’, he said.
8. 40pm: As media awaits Mayor Bloomberg to address, cops extend an yellow tape, not allowing reporters to cross.
— amrita tripathi (@amritat) अगस्त 24, 2012
8. 29 pm: Witnesses of the shooting incident take to Twitter and report about the incident. Daniel Roth, the executive editor of LinkedIn, tweeted that he was safe.
For those checking in: I’m in Empire State Building and safe; my team all accounted for. Doing headcount for rest of office.
— Daniel Roth (@danroth) अगस्त 24, 2012
Meanwhile, others pray for the victims of the Empire State Building shootout and their families.
Sending my prayers to everyone involved with the Empire State Building shooting! This violence has got to stop!!!
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) अगस्त 24, 2012
My prayers go out to the victims and their families who were involved in the Empire State building shooting!
— Tiara Hodge™ (@TiaraSoBoojie) अगस्त 24, 2012
8. 10 pm: Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Kelly is expected to address the media on the shooting incident in sometime.
Here’s a video of the area outside Empire State Building:
8.05 pm: Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A witness Hassam Cissa said he arrived minutes after the shooting and saw two bodies on the ground. Another witness, Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News television that she was standing at a red light when a woman standing next to her fell to the ground. The gunman was “shooting indiscriminately at people,” Imam added. Witness Rebecca Fox told CNN that she saw a woman who was shot in the foot.
A body remained at the scene more than an hour after the shooting. Police scoured the area for bullets.
The shootings occurred just outside the city’s iconic skyscraper, a massive tourist attraction, at the height of the summer travel season and just after the morning rush hour. The intersection at the heart of midtown Manhattan was quickly shut down.
Here are some photos of reporters at the shooting site:
— Mary Kissel (@marykissel) अगस्त 24, 2012
8.00 pm: A Reddit thread about the shooting includes first-hand accounts of the incident. One of the users, titan 413, writes, ” I was on the bus right there when it happened. At least four people got shot. Two on the northwest side of the street, one empire state building ticket guy in the middle of the crosswalk, and someone on the southwest corner. That was terrifying.” You can read the Reddit thread here
7.50 pm: At least five people have been injured in the shooting. Several of the victims were treated at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. The wounded were taken to Bellevue Hospital and St. Luke’s Roosevelt, with the more seriously injured going to Bellevue.
7:40pm:Media reports say a dispute between coworkers exploded into gunfire outside the building, though it’s unclear what sparked the deadly argument. New York post reported that two men fought right on the sidewalk before one suddenly drew his weapon and opened fire.
New York police say five people have been shot outside the Empire State Building, and the shooter is dead.
New York police Department told the media that the number of dead is still ‘not known’, though reports claim that two people have been killed in the shooting.
They also added that there was no apparent link to terrorism.
A fire department spokesman says it received a call about the shooting just after at 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) on Friday and that emergency units were on the scene within minutes.
The shooting occurred at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, just beside the city’s iconic skyscraper and a massive tourist attraction.
With inputs from Agencies