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Empire State Shooting: Two Dead, Nine Wounded

Submitted by on August 24, 2012 – 12:05 pmNo Comment
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A disgruntled former women’s accessories designer shot a former colleague to death today and then was killed in a shootout with police near the Empire State Building that left nine others wounded, officials said.

The nine people wounded in the gunfire just after 9am were expected to survive, police said. In a sad twist, Mayor Bloomberg admitted in a press conference held immediately after the event that a number of the shooting victims may have been struck by police bullets.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly revealed the shooter, Jeffrey Johnson, 53, was laid off about a year ago at Hazan Imports and targeted a 41-year-old former colleague, shooting the man in the head. A construction worker followed Johnson, then spoke to police nearby. Johnson turned his .45-caliber pistol on officers and they returned fire, Kelly said. Johnson was shot and killed by police.

“We were just working here and we just heard bang, bang, bang!” said Mohammed Bachchu, 22, of Queens, a worker at a nearby souvenir shop. He said he rushed from the building and saw seven people lying on the ground, covered in blood.

The gunfire came less than two weeks after a knife-wielding man was shot dead by police near Times Square, another tourist-saturated part of the city. Authorities say police shot 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy after he lunged at officers with a kitchen knife on August 12. Kennedy was smoking marijuana in Times Square on a Saturday afternoon when officers first approached, police said. It was the beginning of an encounter that would stretch for seven crowded blocks.

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