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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  August 24, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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welcome, everyone. i i am ashleigh banfield. shooting in midtown new york city, looked more of a scene from the wild west. ten people, ten people caught in gunfire. one man chasing down another, a security guard then chasing down the gunman. police swarming into the scene, tourists snapping their head sideways, wondering what's going on. new yorkers on the way to work wondering how on earth did this happen so fast and how did the damage get so widespread? let's get to cnn's poppy harlow live on the scene to update the situation. as we know it, two people dead, ten people hurt. what else do we know? >> reporter: that's what we know from law enforcement, they're very cautious.
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i've been on the scene for about the last hour. it happened in a place outside the empire state building at 4th and 5th avenue, many offices here, many commercial businesses, everything from pharmacies to starbucks, people just in the midst of rush hour going to work. what we know is that there have been ten people at least ten people shot, we know two were dead on arrival at the hospital, one of them being the shooter, that's according to law enforcement. i spend a good portion of the time talking to a witness, rebecca fox, 27-year-old girl going to work across the street from the empire state building. she told me all of a sudden they saw people running every which way, dropping coffee cups. she saw blood spilling all over the sidewalk in front of the empire state building. i asked her if she saw anyone who had been shot. she did. she saw four people so let me
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run through them with you. one was a woman, middle aged woman sitting on the corner, right in front of a hartland brewery restaurant at 34th and 5th avenue who had been shot in the foot, she was described as being in shock, terrified, she was taken away by an ambulance, another man was shot, he was also taken away by an ambulance, rebecca, and she also saw a man that she believed was the shooter. cnn cannot independently confirm this, but she was very certain it was the respective shooter. she saw him on the ground, shot. she saw police sort of kick him over, trying to turn him over, and then of course police have said that they shot and killed the shooter, she described that shooter as a middle aged caucasian man. that's all she could see, she believed the shooter was chasing after another man and she told me she saw a photo of that other man shot in the head and dead, so four people total is what she saw in terms of those shot. i think it's very important,
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ashleigh to point out police are making it very clear there is no connection to terrorism whatsoever at this point and that's important because we're in the middle of new york city and if you look at the sight line standing by fifth avenue if i look straight down lookinging at the green building ground zero, one world trade center, rebecca said it hasn't been that long since 9/11, i was so scared, i didn't know what was going on. i can tell you in my 11 years of living here, nothing like this has happened. >> for new yorkers who have lived through that 9/11 in particular, the sound of a flatbed truck going over a pothole is enough to make people very afraid. we've had big explosions in the city since 9/11 that have really wreaked fear and havoc on people who live there and tourists know well the sensibilities in new york as well. i just want to remind everyone we're waiting on mayor bloomberg to make a statement with a live news conference. i don't know if police
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commissioner ray kelly or his deputies will be alongside with him but people should know that the new york city mayor has been an outspoken critic of the lack of action, he says, on behalf of not only president obama but mitt romney, when it comes to gun control. this is a republican mayor, who does not like the situation across this country right now with respect to gun control and he's made no bones about it. with that in mind i just want to ask you about the weapon, poppy. there have been some reports that this clearly did not appear to witnesses to abi handgun in the hands of this now dead shooter, but looked something more like a long arm, some kind of shutgone, maybe sawed off. what more do you know about that? >> reporter: at this point in time, we don't have that confirmed. we don't know anything about that. the witness i spoke with did not see the weapons. i don't see them on the ground here, nor have i since i arrived, so i can't tell you that we know what the weapons are and we want to be very
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careful before reporting anything like that. what i can tell you is that we are awaiting this press conference with police commissioner ray kelly, he will be expected to be side by side with new york city mayor bloomberg. i spoke briefly with the number two in the new york city police department on the phone, the deputy commissioner, paul brown. he didn't have time to get into detail with us. he said we'll give you more at the 11:00 briefing and we know the president was notified by homeland security adviser john brennan of this around 9:30 a.m. he will continue to be updated through the day, so obviously all law enforcement already here are aware and the fbi at ground zero as well. >> poppy harlow, stand by for one moment if you will. we are looking at pictures that are north/south, up and down fifth avenue at this point. we've also got helicopter shots that sort of set the scene of what at one point was some pretty confusing activity, and
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now is a series of cordonned off areas in midtown new york city. this is 34th and 5th avenue. doesn't get busier than this location of the iconic location of the empire state building. zero traffic on one of the budsiest intersections of manhattan and at that time there are a lot of bystanders, a lot of people who happened upon the scene or were there when it happens. rose arce, one of our cnn producers arrived on the scene moments after it had all unfolded. rose, i was listening to some of your live reporting and you did the play-by-play on what everyone told you immediately after the shooting. i want to you repeat for viewers who are just joining us this mass chaos and this sort of wild west situation, repeat it for me and describe what they saw. >> i can tell you it's a very dramatic scene here. somebody who was just at the empire state building with tourists a week ago, i know that right outside this building, there are lines of people, kids, tourists, standout side for hours waiting for their turn to
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go up and it's right in front of there, that witnesses describe to me that they heard shooting, one woman actually saw the shooting, where one man apparently came up to another one, she says, shot him, and then an elevator maintenance or security person ran outside, yelling and chased this man over to where the front entrance is of the empire state building and at that point police opened fire on him. i can tell you right knew right outside the area where it says observatory entrance, where those tourists line up, the police are now just turned over the body, looking at different sides of his body that is out there and marking pieces of evidence, which the nypd office often means bullet and they had 17 of the little yellow markers to indicate that there were 17 pieces of evidence there, if those are bullets, that gives you a sense of the degree of the shooting. >> so rose, as you mentioned that they're turning over the
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body of the person who is outside the entrance, close enough at least to the entrance of the empire state building, just a reminder, we are waiting for new york city mayor bloomberg, the once republican now independent mayor who has been an outspoken critic of the gun laws in this country and the inaction he says not only the president but mitt romney, the candidate for president as well have displayed during their campaign. we're going to wait on that. in the meantime as they turned over that body, rose, have we had any confirmation that body that is close to the entrance is the shooter or the woman perhaps who was the innocent bystander? >> well, i couldn't tell you definitively which one it is. when i arrived early on the scene i asked witnesses and they did believe that was the shooter. certainly with any type of situation like this, the truth can be lucid because everybody is responding to an emergency situation.
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i do know they're examining that body quite a bit right now, and there is a bag lying next to whoever this is. it looks like either like a briefcase or a black bag, and they've been poking through that with gloved hands. they've been marking the bullets. they've been going around the body, checking inside the clothing of the body, they've turned over the body several times, and i guess not surprisingly they've got these big sheets and they're blocking the tourists, they're trying to block the view that the tourists have of the scene, which is certainly really upsetting if you're standing outside on the sidewalk. >> that's what you call helping in the investigation, because if they need to question those who saw this happen, they may likely not want them poisoned by what they're seeing after the fact. so the more they can get the unadulterated story from these witnesses, the better it is for the investigation in this crime although guess what?
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if the shooter, in fact, is dead and by all accounts that's what it looks like, it's not likely there's going to be a big prosecution of this, although i will not begin to speak about the possibility of civil action, given that all of these people line up outside an iconic building and wait their turn and the hundreds to get inside and take their tour of the empire state building and the possibility that that could present a danger to those people, as rose arce mentioned, 17 different markers have been placed out on the streets near where some of this shooting at least transpired. you can bet your bottom dollar there will be hundreds and hundreds of those markers, that's the forensics of this case. they will be combing for all of those bullets, if this was a gunshot from the kind of gun that the witnesses have seen, and that is a shotgun, that sprays a lot of pellets, sprays a lot of bullets and there could be a lot of investigation that's need to be done. we're going to take a brief break as we wait for mayor bloomberg who is about to take the mike and give a live update
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we're following the breaking news in new york city's midtown where just about two and a half hours ago, not even, a gunman apparently chasing down someone else and opening fire was himself according to witnesses shot three times in front of hundreds of people, all waiting outside of the iconic empire state building, all waiting to get in for their turn to go up into that tourist attraction. did it have anything to do with the tourist attraction, not sure yet. we can tell you this, the security guard from the empire state, someone being described as a security guard himself chased down that gunman before again witnesses say they saw police shooting that gunman dead. apparently two dead now, ten people hurt, though, in the ensuing gunfire, and apparently one of the dead may just be a woman who was an innocent bystander. we're awaiting live comments from the mayor of new york city, mayor michael bloomberg, he'll be giving a briefing shortly. he is the new york city mayor who has been very outspoken when
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it comes to gun control, not just in his city but across this country as well. he's the founder of the coalition mayors against illegal guns, he's not just critical of democrats or republicans both, he says president obama and mitt romney haven't done enough in their campaign to address the issue of, that he says is pi spiraling out of control across the country. let me take to you rebecca fox, who works across the street from the empire state building. she's a new york city resident and she's live with us now, one of the people who witnessed a lot of this melee. rebecca, take me through this incredibly chaotic morning where it would have been any other day when you were getting coffee but for what you saw next. >> i was getting coffee and i was walking on the street on 34th and 5th and i saw a lot of people running, and i actually thought it was a celebrity sighting, i never thought that it would be a shooting. i was wearing headphones so i didn't hear any of the gunshots
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but i took my head phones out and someone said that there was a shooting, and i continued to walk towards 34th and 5th street across from the empire state building, thinking that the shooting was done, and i walked across the street and i saw a woman laying on the ground, leaning up against the building and she had been shot in the foot, and i could see the obvious shock on her face. i just couldn't believe that this was happening. i turned around, i was taking photos of the scene and the pavement, i looked half way down the block and i saw a man had also been shot, he was laying on the ground face down and there were cops surrounding him, so i had assumed that he was the shooter and someone else had confirmed that to me. and it appeared at the time that he was alive, they had turned him over and i saw his head tilt up for a second but now people are telling me that he actually died. i continue to walk down toward the starbucks on 33rd street and fifth avenue and i saw a lot of
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coffee cups thrown where people had been running from, because this man apparently had been chasing another man down the street, and i saw the other man on 33rd street shot and laying on the ground and he wasn't moving as well. another witness had shown me a photo that he had taken up close of the man, the victim, from this other man, and he had been shot in the head. so he was definitely dead, and then i walked back towards 34th and 5th and i saw another woman taken away in an ambulance. i wasn't sure if she was alive or dead. people are telling me now that ten people had been shot, you know, i'm just, it's just a crazy scene down here, but i have to say that the cops came down here immediately and they roped everything off and i'd say within a minute or two the scene was well contained. >> rebecca, don't go anywhere. i have a couple more questions for you but i have a cupful things i need to broadcast right
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away. bellevue hospital in new york city confirmed to cnn that they have six gunshot victims at their hospital, but they do say that these are non-life-threatening injuries so six of these, at least eight wounded in new york city ended up at bellevue hospital, not too far from this location that we're showing you live right now. but six of them not life-threatening, those injuries presumably either from shrapnel, stray gunfire and again if this was a longarm shot gun the pellets can spray and spray wide and reach a lot of people in the kind of critical mass new york city has when it comes to population, this was 9:00 in the morning, this was rush hour. all of those tourists, all of those people like rebecca fox heading to work at 9:00 a.m., couldn't be more crowded on the streets of new york city and to that end as well, the empire state building itself is releasing a statement now, i want to let you no he what they've said about this incident, "the new york city police department is currently concluding an incident which
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took place in front of the empire state building this morning." goes on to say "the building is fully operational at this time." there is no further comment from the empire state building management. pretty remarkable that it is fully operational at this time given the fact that fifth avenue is cordonned off. i don't know how anybody could get in, certainly not the front entrances. dan lothian standing by live with an update as well. can you hear me? >> reporter: yes, i can. president obama was informed of this shooting, i'm told by white house officials shortly after 9:30 this morning by his homeland security adviser john brennan. white house officials saying the president will continue to receive update s throughout the day on the situation there. i want to go back to something you were talking about just a few minutes ago, this issue of gun violence and gun control has been hotly debated but into sharper focus in the wake of some high profile shootings and the president himself weighed in on this issue last month, while addressing the national urban
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league convention in new orleans, he pointed out that his administration had made some progress in beefing up background checks and having more coordination with mayors, but did address this issue by saying that he needed to have discussions with members of congress, community leaders, religious leaders, to look at how they can properly address the issue of gun violence, while at the same time protecting second amendment rights. so this issue obviously very controversial but coming into much sharper focus every time you have a shooting like we have here today in new york. >> dan, tell me this. in a situation where it is almost a foregone conclusion that, when we hear from mayor bloomberg and when he does take the mike and we are waiting on his live comments any moment now, this is something the white house has to deal with, above and beyond what it would normally deal with. they're in a campaign, say what you will, it's coming out of chicago, i get it. but if these kind of comments about stricter gun control laws and mayor bloomberg has gone so
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far as to say we need a strike of police officers across the country until this issue is dealt with, the president and his campaign is going to have to address this. >> reporter: it's not just the president alone. earlier mayor bloomberg has been critical not only of the obama campaign but also mitt romney as well as not properly addressing this issue. make no mistake, this is an issue that both of these men believe is quite important, but when you look at sort of the broader picture, the issue that continues to be the focus of both of these campaigns, is the economy, and that's really what's driving it. this discussion has not really been front and center, except when the president is asked a question or as he did when he was addressing the national urban league last month, that's when he brought up this issue. >> and the mayor is taking to the microphone at this point, so let's watch as he addresses the crowd now live.
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>> speaking of the city council and whose district we are in, commissioner kelly will fill you in on more of the details but earlier this morning, a little after 9:00 a.m., a man who had been fired from his job about a year or so began shooting near the empire state building, but out on the street. he killed one person, and at least nine other people were shot, and some may have been shot accidentally by police officers who responded immediately and while confronting the suspect and fatally shooting him. unfortunately, there may have been other victims as well. there's no inspection any of the wounded will do anything other than recover quickly. i ask everyone to keep the victims in their thoughts and in their prayers. this is a terrible tragedy, and there's no doubt that the situation would have been even more tragic, but for some extraordinary acts of heroism.
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every day as you know our police officers put their lives on the line to protect us. they did so again today, responding immediately, and they were joined by a number of civilians whose bravery and assistance probably also saved lives. new york city, as you know, is the safest big city in the country, and we're on pace to have a record low number of murders this year but we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence. let me now turn it over to commissioner kelly. ray? >> thank you, mr. mayor. i want to stress that what we have is preliminary information and ongoing investigation, of course. at 9:03 this morning, in front of 10 west 33rd street a disgruntled former employee of a company at that address shot and killed a former co-worker, striking him three times. the subject, jeffrey johnson, age 53, then fled eastbound on
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west 33rd street to 5th avenue, when he walked northbound along a curbline, with a .45 caliber handgun secreted in a black bag he had under his arm. construction worker who had followed johnson from west 33rd street alerted two uniformed police officers, who were on post in front of the empire state building's fifth avenue entrance as part of our counterterrorism coverage. as the two officers approached johnson, he pulled his .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol from his bag and fired on the officers, who returned fire, killing him. an additional nine individuals were either wounded or grazed during the exchange, six of whom were removed to bellevue hospital and three to new york presbyterian cornell medical center. all are not likely to die. johnson had been employed for six years at hazan imports,
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h-a-z-a-n imports, as a designer of women's accessories. duringsizing at the company about a year ago, johnson was laid off. in a dispute with one of the former employees of hazan in front of the building, johnson produced a pistol and fired at close range, striking his 41-year-old victim in the head. we're withholding the victim's identity until family notifications can be made. the area in and around the empire state building remains an active crime scene with fifth avenue closed from just below 42nd street to 33rd street. 33rd street is closed between madison avenue and the avenue of americas. 34th street is closed between seventh and madison avenue. mr. mayor? >> let me just stress that this is the beginning of an
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investigation. there were a lot of people that were injured, two are dead. the perpetrator and his victim, nobody else, thank god, but the rest is, we're doing an investigation, we'll be happy to take a few questions but i'm not sure we know any more than what i've just said. yes, sir? [ inaudible question ] >> he does not appear to have a criminal record but it is at the very beginning of our investigation. [ inaudible comment ] >> we don't know very much about him. we're starting the investigation, trying to fill you in because the public is concerned and they should be but we don't know yet about the victim or what interaction had occurred, if there was any, between the victim and the murderer. yes, miss? >> do you know the ages that were shot? >> do we know the ages of anybody? >> yes, the shooter was 53 years of age. the person who was killed is 41 years of age. >> any of the others?
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>> no children who were shot. i would say middle aged people. [ audio cutting out ] no children were shot and no elderly people, middle aged range. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm sorry? i believe there are two women and seven men. yes, sir? [ inaudible question ]. >> do you have an idea of the time frame? >> walked a block maybe something like that, because the police were there on their usual counterterrorism assignments, saw this, went after him, construction worker helped identify them, they had approached, the guy pulled a gun and tried to shoot the cops and kill the cops and the cops returned fire, and he is dead, the perpetrator is dead. yes? >> can you clarify how many
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weapons the -- >> we think there is only two or there's only one weapon from the perpetrato perpetrator, and then of course the police officers in defending themselves. yes, miss? >> do you have any information on how he got a hold of this? >> there's no information. as we get information later in the day one police plaza will be happy to put it out. these are the preliminary times and we don't want to speculate on everything. we do know the number of people shot and we do know the victim is dead and that the perpetrator is dead. yes, sir? >> where was the construction worker and do we know who he is? and is he the hero in this? >> i don't know. we all use the words hero. he did what he should have done, he identified what he saw to the police. when he saw something, he said something and then turned it over to the professionals and that's that. >> did you say several shots were fired by the police, hitting bystanders? >> we don't know. there's speculation that's what
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happened. we do know we have on tape the perpetrator pulled his gun out and tried to shoot at the cops, whether he got off any bullets or not, to be determined, how many he shot earlier to be determined. we do know that the cops fired back. the tape clearly shows the guy has the gun out and trying to di kill the police officers. he worked for a women's apparel company. yes, miss? >> were the officers fired on? >> we don't know. the details today we'll put it out. i don't want to give you any misinformation. >> what are the officers in the process of doing and how long will this perimeter be? >> we look for shell casesininc witnesses, video from building security cameras, the police go through a time checklist of looking for evidence without destroying anything, and getting as many witnesses, if anybody's
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seen anything, if you call the police department, call 311 and they'll connect you with the appropriate people and we'd love to have every bit of information. we'll take one or two more because i think we're going about the same thing. >> did the governor say anything? >> unknown at this time. >> unknown. it happened very quickly. it happened very recently. do we know where the suspect is fr from, the shooter? >> he lives in manhattan. >> last question, miss. >> mr. mayor, also at this point you said that there were multiple shots from officers, possibly inadvertently hitting civilians? >> that's correct. it's under investigation. we just don't know. >> the only two officers to fire shots, those that the suspected shooter tried to shoot? >> we believe the only shots were fired by the perpetrator, and by the police department. there's no evidence that anybody else was involved.
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the police department was two officers who were there. >> two officers. >> that's correct, that's all we know at this point in time. if it's something different, yes, if not we're going to go over the same thing. >> did the suspect come from in the building? >> we don't know. it happened to be near the empire state building but as far as we know no connection to anybody going in or out. the company he worked for is a local company but not in the empire state building, is my understanding. last question, miss. [ inaudible question ] >> yes, it's a .45 caliber pistol that has eight, magazine holds eight and yes, miss, last question. is that your question? [ inaudible question ] >> we don't know anything about it. it's much too early. what i want to do is assure everybody that has nothing to do with terrorism. there is clearly a murder here and a murder victim.
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the police responded very quickly because they were on the scene, a post where we assigned police officers in a normal course of protecting this city. there were a number of shots fired. the perpetrator clearly turned his gun on the police and tried to shoot them, whether he got off any bullets, we just don't know yet. the cops returned fire, killing him. that's what we know and that everybody else that was shot was just grazed or is going to survive. there's no reason to think that any of them were that serious. i can't hear a word you're saying. [ inaudible question ] >> that's what we think. we don't know anything about the perpetrators so it's all speculation at this point. that's what we were told. we've not yet interviewed the company or all of the things that we will do, and then we'll be able to better answer the questions later on. i think that's, yes, go ahead. you didn't -- >> can you spell his name? >> the name of the perpetrator?
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johnson, jeffrey johnson. [ inaudible question ] >> and the name of the company, hazan, h-a-z-a-n imports. [ inaudible question ] >> miss, we don't know. you're asking questions we don't have information for. i think we've had enough. we've got to go back and do our job. yes, stan? [ inaudible question ] >> we just don't know anything about it. you can't take no for an answer. as soon as we find out, we're going to interview everybody and then we will get the information will come out of one pp. so you know, it's a terrible thing. our first thoughts are for the murder victim and then prayers that thank god nobody else was seriously injured, and that they will all recover and once again, there's an awful lot of guns out there. thank you very much.
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>> new york city mayor bloomberg, as well as the police commissioner ray kelly wrapping up an impromptu news conference outside of the building, two some hours ago in midtown manhattan, clearing up a lot of what we had heard from witnesses, this should tell you how witness accounts aren't always as accurate as we think they are. it is the fog of chaos and crime. let's go through what he said, first and foremost e jeffrey johnson, 53 years old, with a .45 caliber handgun, not a shotgun, not a longarm, a handgun, confronting a former co-worker, a 41-year-old victim outside of an office, that the two had shared, prior to mr. johnson being laid off from that company, a year ago, that confrontation led to mr. johnson pointing that gun at the head of his victim, firing off a round, and killing that victim, after which at the nearby empire state building a construction worker alerted the police, who are
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stationed there, and they chased him down. the allegation is that jeffrey johnson reached in his bag to grab that .45 caliber handgun and may have tried to fire at the pursuing officers. whether he got any rounds off or attempted to fire rounds at those officers we don't know yet. this is an active investigation. what we do know is that those officers shot to kill and they succeeded. jeffrey johnson is dead, and he will not be prosecuted for murder, even though this murder happened in cold blood, but what we also know is that there were a lot of bullets flying in midtown manhattan and there were at least there were two women and seven men who were hit, six of them taken to bellevue hospital, three taken to new york presbyterian all without life-threatening injuries but we don't know whose bullets they were shot by, don't know if it was the perpetrator or the police bullets. you'll see a lot of forensic work going on in midtown man hat on it. we thought mayor bloomberg might
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address the situation and he did, saying there's an awful lot of guns out there. new york city is not immune to the nation's problem of gun violence. quick break and back after this. >> i walked across the street, saw a woman had been shot in the foot and she was just in shock sitting there and then i looked half way down right across where you go into the building and there was a man lying on the ground face down and there was the police had been flipping, turning him over. i saw his head kind of lift up for a second and went back down and people had said that he was the shooter, and so i walked across the street and i looked down. if you are one of the millions of men
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should not use androgel. serious side effects include worsening of an enlarged prostate, psible increased risk of prostate cancer, lower sperm count, swelling of ankles, feet, or body, enlarged or painful breasts, problems breathing during sleep, and blood clots in the legs. tell your doctor about your medical conditions and medications, especially insulin, corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. talk to your doctor today about androgel 1.62% so you can use less gel. log on now to and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%. what are you waiting for? this is big news. what are you waiting for? you see us, at the start of the day. on the company phone list that's a few names longer. you see us bank on busier highways. on once empty fields. everyday you see all the ways all of us at us bank are helping grow our economy. lending more so companies and communities can expand, grow stronger and get back to work. everyday you see all of us serving you,
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around the country, around the corner. us bank. welcome back to our continuing coverage of the melee in manhattan, the shooting that led to the death of a co-worker at the hands of a disgruntled co-worker, not far from the iconic empire state building. our poppy harlow is live for us just after the wrap-up of the news conference by mayor bloomberg. get me up to speed, poppy. >> reporter: so a few highlights, mayor bloomberg spoke, so did new york city police commissioner ray kelly.
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53-year-old jeffrey johnson, that is the name of the suspected shooter, who is now dead. what i can tell you is that according to the mayor, he worked at a women's apparel store, not far from here. it was called "hazan importers," h-a-z-a-n. he was fired actually about a year ago. apparently he was a disgruntled worker, that's what he was described by the mayor and had an altercation with a former co-worker in front of the empire state building. the 41-year-old co-worker was shot in the head three times by the suspected shooter and killed. police are not releasing the name of that person yet because they still need to notify his family but again a disgruntled worker, that's who this shooter was, 53-year-old jeffrey johnson. what happened is, this is pretty incredible, a construction worker, working close by, saw this shooting happen, ran to
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police officers, some here are calling him a hero, ran into two police officers that were on active duty here, notified them, they went up to the suspected shooter, and they started firing. i should also note that we are being told that some of the individuals, the nine other people shot but not killed, they may have been shot accidentally by police bullets. that is something that the mayor pointed out. additionally, what we're told is that the seven men and that the two women that have been shot are expected to make a full recovery. they've been taken to two new york city local hospitals so they are expected to make a full recovery, but the mayor calling this a murder, and a tragedy and also, ashleigh, you spoke about the mayor being on the record about his stance on the need for stricter gun control in this country, he ended his statement by saying new york city is one of the safest big cities in this country, but "we're not immune to the national problem of gun violence." >> adding the"there are a lot o
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guns out there" and today's disastrous development in midtown manhattan one example of that. poppy, quickly, i want to go back over that issue of the .45 caliber handgun and this is why it's so critical to let that active investigation play out. witnesses have one account and it is foggy, when that stuff happens, there is, i mean, i can't tell you the number of court cases i have covered where a witness account is nothing like the actual fact of the case, and as the police commissioner very clearly outlined, this was one handgun thought to be, you know, possessed by this killer, a .45 caliber handgun and not a longarm, not a sawed off shotgun as some of the witnesses described but what's critical here, poppy, as you touched on, did he fire off any rounds at the police officers who were pursuing him, possibly hitting some of the other victims or did the police officers accidentally in the collateral damage of trying to strike him before they killed the officers accidentally inadvertently injure other
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bystanders? >> reporter: so you're absolutely correct to say that these reports we've been hearing of possibly being sort of longarmed gun that is not confirmed by police. they say they believe the suspected shooter, jeffrey johnson, only had one gun, a .45 caliber. they said it had room for i believe eight magazines but that wasn't completely clear to me but they said one gun described as a .45 caliber. they also said they're not sure, this is still an active investigation, it's an active crime scene that's going to remain closed. they have a lot to dig through but ashleigh they said some may have been shot by nypd. they had no qualms saying that. it was chaotic, people running every which way so we're not sure if the suspected shooter did shoot those other nine people or some of them or if they were collateral damage, but they are all expected to make a
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full recovery, but again in a chaotic scene like this, it's not clear and they're certainly not going to put those facts out there until they are 100% sure. the only victim in this so far, 41-year-old man from manhattan. we do not have his name. they're still waiting to tell his family. >> of course, again, in the fog and the chaos of the initial reports that have come in that perhaps that victim of this killer was an innocent bystander and a woman, easily could have been a witness seeing a woman who was perhaps taken to the hospital later, lying down and not moving, so we clearly are getting a very different picture now the facts coming from the new york city authorities. let's also remember that the magazine of that .45 caliber handgun can hold eight, eight bullets, and so in the police officer's defense of opening fire on him in a crowded midtown manhattan that could have been eight other victims and maybe victims that wouldn't have been taken to the hospital, may have been taken to the morgue instead. we're going to take a quick break. more of this in a moment.
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blood everywhere, bleeding on the streets of manhattan, gunman 53-year-old jeffrey johnson opened fire near the empire state building, killing a former co-worker in an act of disgruntled rage and then police officers opening fire on him and killing him in return, as he tried to fire at the officers. let me take you back to rose arce, our cnn producer who has been on the scene for several hours. rose, you've been able to listen in to mayor bloomberg's press conference and commissioner ray kelly as they gave us more of these facts and details and they differ with some of the witness accounts. how do you put that all into perspective? >> well, i've walked around now to where the victim's body is, about i'd say about 20 feet or so from where that body is being
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covered by two blue tarps at the entrance. it does somewhat match the witness accounts which is that the gunman had shot another man on 33rd street, around on the side entrance of the empire state building and they described somebody as having run out from where the elevators are in the empire state building and pursued the shooter. i had been told a maintenance or elevator security person, but after the mayor's press conference i asked around t could have been a construction worker because there's a significant amount of scaffolding on the side of the empire state building. he chased him, i'm told by witnesses, to the corner, around to the front of the empire state building, where he was subdued by police, and you can see that side of the building, the body of the shooter, lying just across from the entrance, where tourists line up every morning. >> so we do know now at least that in this initial stage of the investigation, the shooter had one gun, a .45 caliber
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handgun that had a magazine that held eight bullets. the allegation now is that three of the bullets were fired execution style into the head of his victim, the 41-year-old male whose body you're describing outside of the office that they used to share before this killer was laid off a year ago. the description that you gave me about 40 minutes ago, rose, is that you saw about 17 different markers being laid out and presumably shell casings or shrapnel might be found and have you seen the forensic investigation actually expand or have you seen them cordoning off or marking off more evidence? >> yes. in fact, right in front of the building where you have 17 yellow markers, they had been examining a black bag. i did hear in the press conference they mentioned a black bag where police secured the weapon, and this particular black bag is lying almost within reaching distance of the arm of the victim, and i believe he is the perpetrator in front of the
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build building and they have been poking through the black bag, and also across the street there is a gray nissan four-door car parked on the corner as if it were stopped in traffic. they have been examining that vehicle and line tape around that car and they are interested in that. >> well, i will tell you this, a black bag under a suspect's arm from which he pulls a 45 caliber handgun and begins to point it at them or begin firing off rounds, their training tells them to do one thing, shoot, and shoot for the kill zone, and it looks according to the police commissioner and the mayor of new york city that is what happened in this case. rose arce, thank you, and back in a moment with more details on this case. hey. looking to trade the old girl in?
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this is cnn breaking news. a murderer opening fire on his colleague. he is a disgruntled worker. his name is jeffrey johnson.
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53 years old. shoot shooting his colleague, execution-style in the head, a 41-year-old male dead and police opening fire on jeffrey johnson in turn and kill iing him befor jeffrey johnson could wield his .45 caliber weapon and do damage to the police pursuing him. this is what transpired. roughly around 9:00 a.m. eastern this morning in new york in upper manhattan, it was a scene of cop fusion and chaos, and you can see on the screen, 11 shot, and that is because nine people were caught in the crossfire. nine people. 7 of them were men and 2 of them women and six of them headed to bellevue and three to new york presbyterian, and according to the mayor and the police commissioner, they are all going to be okay, but they were shot, and we don't know if they were shot by the murderer's bullet or the police bullets as the police tried to pursue jeffrey johnson
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and take him down before he could do anymore damage. again, this is at a time when the streets of manhattan were clogged and not just with everyone going to work at 9:00 in the morning and rush hour at midtown manhattan and 34th and fifth, but also with all of the tourists who line up outside of the empire state building waiting for the turn to go up to the two observation decks in the eye connick tourist attractions and one of the top tourist attractions in new york. the mayor buttoning up his comments with there are a lot of guns out there and the thoughts and prayers with the victims of drim, but saying that new york is not immune from the nation's pr problem of gun violence and with that, i want the turn over our coverage to fredricka whitfield who is standing in for suzanne malveaux today just after a short break. thanks for being with us, everyone. [ annie ] this is the story of a girl named annie
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