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2012 Shooting outside Empire State Building

At least two persons were shot dead and nine other suffered minor injuries in a shooting outside the Empire State Building in downtown Manhattan on Friday morning. The incident happened on August 24, 2012 (Friday) at about 9 am in the morning. The FDNY responded to a call about the shooting at the Fifth Avenue and 34th Street at 9:07 am on Friday. The officials reached the site at 9:13 am.

Shooting Details

  • Date and time of Incident: August 24, 2012 at 9:04 am
  • Location: 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York
  • Suspected Gunman: Jeffrey Johnson
  • Number of confirmed dead: Two (including the gunman)
  • Number of injured victims: Nine


Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are on the scene and are investigating the shooting. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly updated about the shooting at a news briefing on the incident at 11 am. Initial reports say that the shooting has no connection to terrorism.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said that details of the shooting are still emerging. The shooting was being investigated as a possible workplace dispute.

Gunman dead

The suspected gunman is Jeffrey Johnson. He was 53 years old and was employed for six years at Hazan Imports as designer of women's accessories.

The gunman was wearing an olive suit and carrying a briefcase. He walked up to the import company vice president Steven Ercolino and shot once at his head. After Ercolino fell to the sidewalk, Jefrrey stood over him and shot him four more times. Eyewitnesses say the gunman walked casually after the shooting. When the cops confronted the gunman, he drew a 45-cal semiautomatic gun from the bag. Two officers drew their weapons and fired 16 rounds killing Johnson.

Another loaded magazine was found in Jeffrey's briefcase.

No permit for gun

Jeffrey Johnson bought the gun in Sarasota, Florida in 1991. However, he doesn't have the required permits to possess the weapon.

Reasons for shooting

The gunman Jeffrey Johnson is a recently fired store worker. Jeffrey and the victim Ercolino trade accusations when Jeffrey was working at the store. A possible workplace dispute led to the shooting.

Several streets near the shooting site were closed and traffic has been rerouted through other routes.

Eyewitnesses say that the shooting spree started at about 9:04 am and the gunshots sounded like fireworks.

There was multiple police presence and a number of ambulances are on the scene.


The victim who was shot dead Steven Ercolino was 41. He worked at the Hazan Imports where he was shot dead.

Ercolino had a girlfriend, son and recently bought a house. He lived with them at Hoboken.

He has a degree in business/fashion from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 1992. His first job in the clothing industry was with Jump Apparel. He joined Hazan Import Corp. in December 2005 as its vice president of sales.

Mayor Bloomberg's Press Briefing

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly briefed the press on the shooting.

Mayor Bloomberg said "New York City is the safest city in the country... But we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence."

Bloomberg said that the gunman drew 45-cal semiautomatic from the bag when he was confronted by the cops.

Police Commissioner said that nine bystanders were injured in the shooting and their injuries are not life-threatening.


Two people were confirmed dead at the scene. Six victims were transported to Bellevue Hospital Center and two were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill-Cornell Medical Center.

President informed

President Barack Obama was notified about the shooting shortly after 9:30 am by Homeland Security adviser John Brennan.

About Empire State Building

The Empire State building is one of the famous skyscrapers in the world and is a spot which are visited by thousands of visitors daily. The building opens at 8am on weekdays for visitors. At least 10,000 people work in the Empire State building each day and nearly 10,000 tourists visit the building.

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