- Jeffrey Johnson, 53, shot ex-boss three times outside former workplace
- Gunman ran off after shooting co-worker dead at 9am - but was chased by heroic construction worker who alerted two police officers
- When Johnson opened fire, officer shot him dead
- Total of four people shot and nine injured in ruckus
- Rush-hour ruckus took place in heart of New York City at the height of summer when area was swarming with tourists and workers
A disgruntled employee returned to his former workplace and fatally shot his ex-boss three times in the head, sparking early-morning chaos and multiple other injuries near the Empire State Building.
But Jeffrey Johnson, 53, was scuppered in his plans to escape after a construction worker saw the killing, chased him down the street and alerted police, who shot the gunman dead.
In the rush-hour ruckus, nine passersby were injured, including four who suffered gunshot wounds. Two people - the gunman and his former boss - were killed.
The deadly dispute horrified tourists and workers swarming the area around 34th street and Fifth Avenue which, at the height of summer, is experiencing its busiest few weeks.
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Victim: A man lies on the ground outside the Empire State Building after being shot by a gunman shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Two people, including the gunman, died in the incident
Chaos: Four people were shot by the gunman. Here police stand by a body covered by a sheet
Johnson had visited clothing retailers Hazan Imports, where he had been an accessories designer before it downsized last year, on 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue at 9 a.m..
After his former boss came out into the street to talk with him, Johnson shot the 41-year-old man three times in the head and ran from the scene with his .45 caliber handgun hidden under his arm.
But he was followed a block north by a construction worker who witnessed the deadly shooting and alerted two police officers on duty outside the Empire State Building.
When the gunman pulled out his firearm, they shot him dead.
During the gunfire, four people were shot and a total of nine people were injured. The seven men and two women were whisked away to nearby hospitals, where some are undergoing surgery.
In a press conference, Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg said some of the nine people who were injured may have been hit or grazed by police gunfire.
Down: An image shows a victim lying on the ground. All the victims have been rushed to hospital
Gunned down: A man, who some reports have identified as the shooter, lies on the ground after being shot
It is 'not likely' any of the victims will die, Commissioner Kelly said. None are children or elderly.
When asked if the construction worker was the hero, Mayor Bloomberg responded: 'He did what he should have done. When he saw something, he said something and then turned it over to the professionals.'
Police are withholding the identity of the victim until his family has been notified.
Witnesses recounted the chaotic scene during rush hour in an built-up area swarming with workers and tourists.
'The gunshots were like a movie scene, everybody running in every direction and you can hear the gunshots everywhere not knowing where to run,' witness Suzy El Ayoubi said on Twitter.
Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News that she was standing at a red light when a woman next to her fell to the ground after being hit in the hip. She claimed the gunman was 'shooting indiscriminately at people'.
Witness Kay Hudson, who said she was three feet away when a man was shot, said she heard seven shots then saw a man carrying an orange helmet lying on the ground.
Hudson said she began shouting for people to run and started fleeing down 33rd Street.
Jill Greenwood, who works as an account supervisor at Prosek Partners in the Empire State Building, told the Wall Street Journal that she heard several gun shots beginning at 9:04 a.m.
Dispute: Early reports suggested the gunfire was a result of a dispute between coworkers
Crowds: People on their way to work gathered around the crime scene on 34th Street and Fifth Avenue
She said that people inside the building began yelling because an echo from the shots made it sound like the shooting was happening inside the building.
'We heard these gunshots, it sounded like fireworks. So, we both got up and went to the window and looked down,' Ms. Greenwood,30, told the WSJ.
A Reddit user under the name of Titan413, said they were on a bus when they witnessed the shooting.
'At least four people got shot,' they wrote. '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.
'At first I thought it was a truck going over one of those metal plates in the street, but then everyone on the bus got on the floor and people on the street started running.'
Helicopter footage apparently showed the gunman lying on a stretcher in handcuffs, before officers placed a white sheet over his body.
Busy: It is an area busy with tourists and workers. Police have closed down the roads as they investigate
Report: The FBI assured people that the act was not linked with terrorism. Freedom Tower can be seen behind
A fire department spokesman said it received a call about the shooting just after at 9 a.m. and that emergency units were on the scene within minutes. The FBI confirmed it is not terror related.
Traffic was diverted as police swarmed the scene at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Coincidentally, just minutes before the shooting, Mayor Bloomberg warned about the dangers of 'too many guns on the streets' on his weekly radio show.
While discussing proposed tougher gun laws in Albany shortly before 9a.m., he said: 'The argument guns don’t kill people, people kill people is one of the most disingenuous things you can say.'
'It does take a person to pull the trigger, but if they didn’t have the gun... We are the only developed country in the world with this problem,' the mayor continued.
Scene: The shooting took place outside the Empire State Building, pictured, during rush hour
The last shooting outside the iconic landmark took place on February 23 1997, when Ali Abu Kamal, a 69-year-old Palestinian, opened fire on the observation deck.
The Palestinian teacher killed one 27-year-old man and wounded six others before he fatally shot himself in the head.
Law officials ruled that the attack was premeditated as the gunman had visited the building the day before the shooting.
Letters were found on his body - one in English and one in Arabic - which attacked America, France and England over their treatment of Palestinians.