Dear Commons Community,
A recently fired store worker (see update below) shot a former colleague to death and then randomly started shooting others near the Empire State Building before he was shot by police officers, law enforcement officials said.
At least nine other people were struck by bullets when the shooting started at about 9 a.m. on the Fifth Avenue side of the building but those injuries are not believed to be life threatening, police said.
Early reports are saying that the gunman previously worked at a store inside the landmark skyscraper.
Crowds of tourists and people on their way to work gathered along 34th Street, which was shut down by police. Police helicopters buzzed overhead and swarms of officers were gathered around the crime scene.
Police say 58-year-old Johnson, who was laid off from a nearby shop in 2011, shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire.