Shootout at Empire State building

Aug 25, 2012, 08:09 IST | Agencies

Gunman dressed in a grey suit kills co-worker and bystander at iconic building amid morning rush, wounds seven others before cop kills him

A disgruntled worker, who was fired on Thursday stalked his co-worker down a Midtown street, shot him dead and then turned his weapon on random pedestrians outside the Empire State Building — shooting as many as eight others before he was cut down by a cop on foot patrol. The mayhem sent the public in a panicked scramble from the jam-packed intersection.

One of the victims said she heard the gunfire and later realised she’d been shot.

“She saw blood and said ‘Who got shot?’ and then she looked down and it was her. She never saw the gunman,” said her friend.

Midtown madness: Law enforcement officers stand near the covered body of the suspected shooter on 5th Avenue near the Empire State Building in New York City. According to reports, two people are dead, including the suspected shooter, and eight have been wounded. Pic/AFP

The carnage started when the gunman followed his victim down 33rd Street before opening fire outside a bar, the sources said.

He then headed over to the Empire State Building and did the unthinkable — unleashing a fusillade of shots in the heart of the morning rush on a street loaded with pedestrians.
An NYPD cop on foot patrol — part of the Critical Response Vehicle unit — killed the gunman with one shot.

Some of the shot bystanders were hit in the buttocks and legs. “This is the last thing you are expecting to see walking to work — someone shot dead in broad daylight in Midtown,” said Sid Dinsay, who works in a PR firm on Fifth Avenue.

Dinsay said he heard noise on 33rd street and saw construction workers running on scaffolding of Empire State Building, looking down onto the street. He thought a piece of equipment had fallen. “I saw a guy lying there covered in blood,” he said. “He was in his late 30s. People around him were crying, a police scooter was whizzing by. It was chaos.”

The FBI is assisting in the investigation, which has caused a traffic nightmare in Midtown that has effectively shut down all streets around the scene.

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