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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  August 24, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT

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to stop, people are trying to still get into the aa who work and live in the area. what happened? >> they'll just getting word on on social media, but at this point the area seems to be just about -- you can see a lot of -- if they thought it was a dangerous situation, they would have gone and evacuated some of these buildings. of course the subways and buses run in this area. some buses had to go around the
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area. it's impossible to count the number of people in this area during a typical day. everyone has the same question of what exactly happened. they don't know, and they're trying to get in there and find out. some of them are trying to get to offices where they work. and everybody's on the phone just trying to sort this whole thing out. thomas back to you. >> thank you so much, ron. we're going to check in with lester holt. he's also live near the scene. as i understand it, this is along your daily walk to work at 8:00 a.m. in the morning, 9:00 a.m., this is a very busy time for people trying to get to work. how have you seen the police clamp down -- >> i'm actually with one of the tourists, his name is simon jaycoke visiting from the uk. you were on your way to the
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empire state building with your wife. tell me what you saw and heard. >> we were just walking on the way there, heard about ten gunshots near the side of the road, sauce a lone policeman chasing someone down the side of 33rd street, one minutes police arrived bedlam was everywhere. ambulance came. there was a lady picked up on 34th street. she looked like she had a leg wound. and somebody i think had been empire state building. >> reporter: you saw someone -- >> someone lying literally right in front of the entrance. >> reporter: when you heard the shots, were you in fear? what were people doing? >> we were on the side of the road, you know, there was pandemonium.
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i stayed where i was. i thought we were safe, instead of running down after someone who had -- >> reporter: not what you expected to encounter on your tour of new york city? >> certainly not, especially in the morning. didn't expect anything like that. >> reporter: simon, glad you are well. thank you for talking to us. again, from his experience, it looks like this whole event took place about a block and a half area, which would account for some of the evidence collection we have seen not only on 33rd and 5th. >> remind people of the area we're talking about. for tourists in this area, it's great weather, friday morning in new york city, so people walking to work, but the tourists especially in that area, because it's so close to herald square. >> it is close to herald square,
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and you have the shopping at rockefeller center, you come down to the empire state building, you walk down to the flat iron, and it's a great, busy street. when i walk this street, especially during the summer, you know, i call it serumen continuing my way past the shooting, thank ghness there is always a police presence here. we know it's a potential target, so the nypd has taken great care in stationing special police
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units to keep an eye on folks. they're friendly, often pose with tourists as they wait to get up there, but they are there, and it's a constant presence, meant to be a deterrent. in fact, if this is a workplace type of shooting, probably wouldn't have the same effect. >> yeah, there is a heavy police presence from the new york police department as well as the private security that works inside the empire state building. we're hearing that two different law officials say a recently fired store workers is the alleged gunman. we are awaiting a press conference from mayor bloomberg as well as commissioner kelly. lester, have you seen the mayor and commissioner kelly on sight? >> reporter: i saw commissioner kelly quite earlier. i have note seen the mayor, but again this is a pretty large crime scene so the command post
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is not within my sight. clearly they have a place where they're sustaininging. i can't see it where where i am. >> nbc's lester holt is reporting from the empire state building. >> stand by, lester. we'll come back. rehemia, now we're learning more. >> we have an nypd radio log of reports that come from police to police. here's indication of just how quickly things were transpiring. it suggests to us that as 9:27, the first call came in, and i'm quoting now, midtown charlie south. they're talking about the area. unconfirmed 10, 10 shots fired, west 33rd and 5i avenue, several
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shots fired, end quote. just about 30 seconds later, it says adam 1 has advised that a perp is in custody. several seconds, about 30 seconds later, quote, we have multiple people shot in front of the empire state building. 40 seconds after that, we have two civilians shots, the perp is shot. then there are sounds of people yelling, quote, we have ems on scene. we are getting reports we have four people shot. more seconds, only about 50 seconds later, quote, we are -- there are many shots fired by mos, which means man on the street. they took the perp down, that's affirmative. just in a matter of seconds, again an indicate that the nypd responded extremely quickly. we don't have the official information, but i'm sure in this conference mayor bloomberg will confirm that the reaction was extremely fast on the part
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of the police. >> just how quickly they were able to respond, as rehecka -- rehema pointed out, we are waiting for the mayor bloomberg. the reporters have come to hear the details of this case are, as you can imagine, the tourists in the area are very curies about what they were there to witness this morning. just to remind you, it's on fifth avenue between the blocks of me and 33rd. if you've seen the movie "miracle on me street" you know exactly where this area is, right by macy's and herald square. a lot of tourists in the area, because the observatory for the empire state building opens at 8:00 a.m. people are scuttling on their way to work, again it's a great area within the city itself for tourists, as well as for big people trying to get to and from
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work on a friday morning here, but we do have the confirmation that two people are dead. four people were shot, ten injured, a hot note just crossed my desk talking about some of the people that were taken for treatment. the new york presbyterian reports that three shooting victims have been brought to their facility. no information on the condition of their shooting victimsity. three different victims had been brought to that medical center. again, we are standing by for mayor bloomberg and commissioner kelly to address reporters and update us. we do know they arrived in the last hour after being alerted to what took place. initial reports were someone who was fired was let go yesterday, returning this morning and opening fire, so a gruntled person, but again these victims are brought into the new york presbyterian medical center.
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we'll get pour on their condition. nbc's jeff rossen is on the scene. what do you have for us? >> reporter: law enforcement sources saying ten people shot, two people dead, including the gunman himself. police are investigating basically every inch. they're looking at this car to see if there's any bullet casings, or trying to figure out where the bullets went. as you alluded to and you've been reporting, law enforcement sources tell nbc news this appears to be a disgruntled employees, was coming back here today when apparently the security garr at the empire state building wouldn't let him in, so the nypd says he opened fire, started shooting here, and we are right in the shadow of the empire state building. started shootic right here on the street. in fact one of the victims was
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shot. can you can bear with us, right there on the other corner, bakley just feet away from the entrance, pales in comparison. if you've ever visited new york city, you know fifth avenue is a major thoroughfare, especially on a busy weekday morning. fifth avenue is now closed several blocks that way, several blocks this way's well. you can see as we look down the street there are literally hundreds of people at all of these different police barricades. these are people, thomas who -- some of them were here when the shooting happened. others are just trying to get to work. all of fifth avenue now is a crime scene. >> have the witnesses talked about the weapon that the alleged gunman was using?
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>> reporter: no, we don't have that information yet. we're eight waiting a news conference, which is about a block away. we have that wired up live for you, as soon as it begins. you and exactly who these victims are and what their conditions are, too. all we know, of the eight people still alive, they are in area hospitals, but we are not aware of their conditionses new york presbyterian cornel medical center saying they have three of the victims brought there, but we have no update on their conditions. was it rapid fire succession? how did they described the shots? >> reporter: i spoke to one where he said it was sort of in the midding not automatic, but shot after shot after shot.
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one described it as deliberate, that a person was shooting this, then shooting that. this was all from speculation from witnesses who heard this in a split second. like we said, there are people lined up, everyone waiting to see what happens. there are multiple crime scenes even within this one cream scene. if you can look up the street, the fbi is here as well, as we have been mentioning all morning, and it's important to repeat against, both the n ymt pd and fbi saying they knolls terrorism, does not appear to have anything to do with terrorism. once again we're keeping an eye on it for you and looking for witnesses to bring you as well. >> jeff rossen, thank you, sir. if you're just joining us, we are following the breaking news of the early morning shooting. we take a quick break to regroup. we're back right after this.
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tell me what you heard. >> pop pop pop. i started to run to my office. i came back out and was standing on fifth avenue and i saw the dead guy. >> i couldn't get into the locate where i'm standing. >> he was nice. a shooting outside the empire state building. ten other people injured after a
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disgruntled workers returned today, with the intentions of creating mayhem. these a live shot. as well as police commissioner ray kelly who will update us on the details of what took place this morning. just to reset it for you. law enforcement officials say that he tried to get into the building, but shot people outside of the building when he was turned away. some of these injuries are not considered to be life-threatening. two lives were lost this morning. one of which is the gunman himself. three shooting victims have been taken there to be treated for their injuries. we don't, however, have specific information on their conditions right now. as you can imagine, a lot of people have been gathering outside of the building this
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morning, a busy and beautiful friday morning here in manhattan, a lot of tourists in that area, if you're familiar with the city itself, this is along 5th, between me and 33rd. the observatory opens at 8:00 a.m., and there are a lot of people, business folk coming and going through that areas as well. this is just east of herald square. the famous enorm olympics macy's building. we do believe it to be a man, eight other people have been injured in and around the building itself. we have nbc's lester hold. we do know that the police presence in this area was quick to respond, and they've also been convict to corden off the
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area. jeff rossen was reporting multiple crime scenes, but obviously a lot of witnesses to talk to. >> reporter: and getting the witnesses together will be difficult. obviously you hear -- and then i got here shortly after, and police were pushing back, you know, creating a barrier, if you will, around the scenes. they're out there now with their measuring tape, beginning to collect the evidence together, because this is a sprawling crime scene. they wanted to push everybody back and get a hand on it. some are xwashl wanting to get to work, but they're told it will be a while.
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word has certainly spread through the crowd there shalls some sort of shooting. fbi, atf is on the scene. anytime involving a building like this, that is a prime terror target, it would attract that kind of attention, but again the word is not a terrorist attack, but some sort of dispute involving a worker. this is a tendency, our first thought always go to terrorism, and we hear it's not and it's a collective sigh of relief. at the same time we have to acknowledge it's still a very horrible event and terrifying. >> lester, i don't mean to interrupt action but here comes mayor bloomberg. let's listen in. -- >> and christine quinn, of the city council and whose district we are in. commissioner kelly will fill you
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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. all of those are not seriously wounded, and there's no expectation that any of them will do anything other than recover quickly. i ask everyone for 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. every day, as you know, our police officers put their lives
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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 constituent 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 turn it over to commissioner kelly. ray? >> thank you, mr. mayor. >> what we have is preliminary investigation 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 west 33rd street to 5th avenue, when he walked northbound along
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the curb line with a .45 caliber handgun secreted in a black bag he had under his arm. a 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 5th avenue entrance as part of our counterterrorism coverage. as the two officers approached johnson, he pulled hi 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 -- all are not likely to die. johnson had been employed for six years at hazan imports,' a
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designer of women's accessories. during a downsizing 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 the 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 5th avenue closed from just below 42nd street to 33rd street. p 3rd street is closed between madison avenue and the avenue of the americas. me is closed between 7th and madison avenue. mr. mayor. >> let me just stress this is the beginning of an investigation. there were a lot of people that
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were injured. two are dead, the perpetrator and his victim. nobody else, thank god, but the rest, we're doing an investigation. we'll be happy to take a few questions, but i fwhot sure we know more than what i've said. yes, sir? he does not appear to have a criminal record, but it is at the beginning of our investigation. we don't know very much about him. we're just starting the investigation, we're trying to fill you in, because the public is concerned, and they should be, but we just don't know yet about the victim or what interaction had occurred, whether there was any between the victim and the murderer. >> yes, miss? 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 no children
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who were shot. i would say -- and no elderly people, people in the middle age range? i'm sorry? i believe there are two women and seven men. >> yes, sir? >> do we have a time frame between the first shooting today ash did not. >> yes. >> walked a block, maybe, yeah, something like that. because the police were there on their usual counterterrorism assignments, saw this, went after him, construction worker helped identify him. they a3r067d. the guy pulled a gun, tried to shoot the cops, kill the cops and the cops returned fire, and he is dead. the perpetrator is dead. >> clarify how many weapons -- >> we think there's only two, or -- there's only one weapon from the perpetrator, and then of course the police officers defending themselves.
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yes -- >> we have no information, miss. that's the trouble. as we get information later in the day, 1 police plaza will be happy to put it out. we don't want to speculate. we do know the number of people shot, and we do know the victim is dead and that the perpetrator is dead. yes, sir? >> reporter: where was the construction worker? do we know who he is? is he the hero? >> joe. we all use the word hero. he did what he should have done. when he saw something, he said something and turned it over to the professionals, an that's that. we don't know. there's speculation that that's what happened, but 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
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back. the tape clearly shows the guy has the gun out trying to kill the police officers. we just said, miss, he worked for a women's apparel company. it's still under investigation. we don't know. the details will change. later on day 1 pp will put it out. >> reporter: how long is this going -- >> it's going to take a while. we look for shell casings, look for witnesses, look at videos. police go through a time -- a honed checklist of looking for evidence without destroying anything and getting as many witnesses. if you saw something, call the police department, call 311, and they'll connect you with the appropriate people. one or two more, because we're going about the same things.
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>> reporter: say anything, commissioner? >> we don't think the gunman saying -- did the -- >> unknown at this time. >> unknown. it happened very quickly, it happened very recently. dao. >> the suspect lives in manhattan. >> last question. >> mayor, at this point you said there were multiple shots from officers possibly inadvertently hitting civilians. >> it's under correction. >> reporter: only two officers to fire shots, though, are the -- >> we believe the only shots were fired by the perpetrator, and by the police department. there's no evidence that anybody else was involved, and 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 something different, yes, if not we'll be going over the same thing. we don't know where he came
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from. everything occurred outside, and it happened to be near the empire state building, but as far as we know, there was no connection to -- nobody going in our out. the company that he worked for is a local company, but not in the empire state building, is my understanding. last question, miss. yes, it's a .45 caliber pistol that has eight magazine holds eight. is that your question? >> we just don't know. it's much too early. what i want to do is assure everything it has nothing to do with terrorism, there is clearly a murder here and a murder victim. the police responded very quickly because they were on the scene, a post where we assign police officers in the normal course of protecting this city. there were a number of shots fired. the perpetrator clearly turned
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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 fired, that's what we know. everybody else that was shot was just grazed or is going to survive. there's no reason to think any of them were that serious. that's what we think. we don't know anything about the perpetrator, so it's just all speculate 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. yes, go ahead, you didn't -- say again -- the name of the perpetrator. >> johnson, jeffrey johnson. >> jeffrey johnson. >> the name of the company? >> hazan imports.
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>> was he a designer? >> miss, we don't know. you're asking questions we don't -- i thing we've had enough. we've got to go back and do our job. yes, stan. -- >> we just don't know anything about it. you can't take no for an answer. as soon as we find out, we'll interview everybody, and the information with one out of 1 p.p. 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. mayor bloomberg finishing up the press conference look with christine quinn and commissioner ray kelly.
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let's recap the fact. the shooter is 53-year-old jeffrey johnson, a person fired from a local company here in new york city called hazan imports, a designer of women's apparel. the story itself is not in the empire state billing, but on the block, right somewhere 5th and 6th avenue, a bit outside of the garment district, but that's the part of new york city for apparel and fashion for clothing. they're saying he was let go for some company some time ago and approached a 41-year-old person on the street and shot this person in the head. they say they're not releasing the victim's name just yesterday until they notify the family, but this jeffrey johnson worked for hazan imports, used a semiautomatic weapon opening fire on the streets. a construction worker witnessed the murder take place, followed this jeffrey johnson character
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to the front of 5th avenue where he notified police. police confronting johnson, johnson drawing his weapon, as the mayor told us, the tapes show that johnson drew his weapon on police, two officers opening fire taking him down. however in the fray that opened at this early morning hour, with people going to work and tourists lined up, nine people were injured, two women and seven men. they're not sure exactly in johnson's weapon is the one to be blamed for the injuries or whether or not police trying to take johnson out may have kne inadvertently fired on innocent bystanders. we are waiting for confirmation. they just don't have the facts yet. we do know that six people were taken to bellevue, three people to cornel, but as the commissioner told us, they are unlikely to die, ron, they were able to clear up a lot of facts,
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but we still need to know about where these bullets were flying from. >> reporter: i'm here with a crowd of tourists and workers in the area who are still leer, and i think most people are amazed d and a bits something like this could happen in broad daylight. one tourist i was talking to, this is america and he's not surprised, giving you the perspective of some foreigners. but i think most people are just very concerned this could happen and could be a shootout. i see all kinds of stores. i'm at me and 6th avenue, i see a gap, a levi's store, an apartment building, all kinds of things that are familiar, and of course the empire state building. we're still a good quarter of a mile away from the actual scene.
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as the mayor was saying, they still have to work the crime scene, and it probably will be difficult to try to find some witnesses perhaps xwho have fled the area. we talked 20 one gentleman, who was here, who was a worker, who said he saw people laying on the ground, saw what are the people who perhaps the dead individual, and he also -- the other people he sauce did not appear to be badly wouldn'ted. but the bottom line is down here, i think people are very concerned this could happen in this place. perhaps some release relief involved, that it was not a terrorist incident, which of course is in the back of every new yorker's mind when something like this is unfolding.
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people are hoping to get back to work or back on that you are tourist bus, but again it will be a while. things are still in lockdown. >> ron allen reporting from the scene, thank you again. the police commissioner and mayor able to confirm that the shooter is 53-year-old jeffrey johnson killed on the scene by police. he was able, according to witnesses on the scene as he showed up on the site, a 41-year-old ctim. clint, i know there was a lot of hectic listening going on, as we were trying to get the facts from the mayor and police commissioner. i heard one of the original reports this person may have been fired yet, but the mayor clearing it up maybe he was fired over a year ago? >> yeah, that's what we're hearing, too, the individual was let go a year ago. when i was talking to your colleague chris jansen last hour, she asked what are the
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statistics as far as when someone comes back and i explained i've seen them act within a few minutes, and i've seen one person come back seven years later in a workplace. a year seems a long time, but you put yourself in the terrible position of this shooter, someone who blames everything in his life, his failure to perhaps get a new job or anything else that happened in his personal life, he's now blaming it on the workplace, and apparently on his former supervisor. it appears that was his initial target that he went after his former supervisor, this 41-year-old individual, who is, again, unfortunately one of the deceased, and then the subject ran from the scene. when we look at violence in the workplace, which this appears to be, about a third of all victims are involved in some type of sales or office environment. in a years, 572,000 victims of workplace violence in the united
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states, 521 of those, like we saw today were homicide victims. >> the one thing here, and we don't know the facts and psychology other than the person was fired and let go from hazan imports of this time frame of over a year ago, but that he did draw his weapon, according to the mayor, to have it on tape. maybe this was the time of thing where he warranted suicide. >> he obviously was able to succeed in that. he did in fact flee from the scene. as we know, someone nearby saw him run, pointed him out to police officers. that's the time at least two uniformed officers engaged him and realized uniformed officers were probably carrying either glowings or semiautomatic pistols with about a 15-round capability. the mayor tells us the subject
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was carrying a .45 caliber pit toll which would have had about a eight-round capability, so notwithstanding how many rounds he shot at the first scene where he's alleged to have killed his supervisor, then that shootout took place with that police officers about a block away, and thomas, that's the unfortunate thing. we find many times in these shootouts, especially when we have semiautomatic pistols involved, there are a lot of rounds being fired. as you pointed out earlier, they can bounce off buildings, off walls, cars, but that accounted for not only the demise of the shooter, but evidently many of the other victims at the scene, at least four we're told, were apparently shot in that shootout between the police and the subject. >> nine other people were injured. they were able to confirm two of them are men, seven women, the
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only other two people other than the perpetrator are two police officers who were established there on the scene. clint, thank you. nbc's jeff rossen is still reporting for us outside of the scene there at the empire state building. i understand you have a witness. >> reporter: yes, i do. maria was just feet away. she works right here basically along 5th avenue. what did you hair and what did you see? >> ed just walked into the lobby of my building when i heard five gunshots. i immediately ran for the elevator to run up to my office, and, um, the security guard in lie lobby like ducked, and i ran upstairs to my office, i ran into the boardroom, i open the window of the ninth floor, pretty scary sight, but when i looked down, i saw the dead body. later on i learned that the gentleman was shot dead worked in my building. apparently it was an
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employers/employee dispute. the shooter was terminated from his xwoimt 2 1/2 years ago. after shooting his former manager, he ran towards fifth avenue and started shooting at random. that's exactly what happened are earp when you saw this, first of all, what did the shots sound like? in very quick succession or more deliberate? >> the first one, followed by maybe two seconds, followed by two more shots, then the other three were immediately after the other, but there were a total of five. >> reporter: there are a lot of people that may have been -- explain oy busy fifth avenue is, when the shooting happened this morning? >> when the shooting happened, it was slightly i believe right after 9:00 a.m. this area is extremely busy at that time in the day, a lot of tourists, a lot of people getting to work, and it's very congested. you can barely walk in this
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neighborhood. >> reporter: a fire fight is incredibly dangerous between police and a suspect. >> absolutely. at first the two other women in the lobby with me thought it was something to do with the construction at the empire state building, but i said to them, it was not. i was born and raised in brooklyn. i know what gunshots sound like, and my brother is a cop. i know what that sounds like. >> reporter: how frightening was it? >> it was a little scary. i was nervous. my intention was sort of be proactive instead of reactive, get myself out of a lobby into an elevator and appear open door. >> reporter: appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> reporter: there are a lot of stories like that. you can see police are still investigating. fifth avenue will be closed for quite some time. can you see that? the bullet casings they're marking on the ground in the yellow, and you can see how high
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that number is. 17, i see up there right now. 16, 17, and those are all bullets right at that one location. that just goes to show you how many shots were fired as police were exchanging gunfire with this man on a very busy day in midtown manhattan. >> remind us where are. if we can get the google image of where jeff is, just to show the streets, because hazan imports on 33rd, is on the south side of the empire state building, so not directly on the same, just south of it. >> yeah, bakley right over here. we're at 33rd and 5th avenue. you can see police officers still walking around, but yeah, we are basically in the shadow of the empire state building right here, the corner of 33rd and 5th. i can tell you right now -- and art, i hate to do this to you, let's go this way, you can see at every barricade, there are
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dozens if not hundreds of people who were either here and witnessed this, pushed back by the police, or are trying to get to work. there's imagine congestion, just trying to see exactly what happened as police continue to investigate. but more and more cops keep showing up. >> jeff rossen on the scene for us. thank you so much. we're going to take a quick break, and we're back after this. is it done? [ john ] no. were you just... no. are you supposed to be driving that in here? no! did mom say we could eat all that? [ john ] yes. [ male announcer ] it's nice to finally say "yes." new oscar mayer selects. it's yes food. we believe the more you know, the better you trade. so we have ongoing webinars and interactive learning, plus, in-branch seminars at over 500 locations, where our dedicated support teams help you know more
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we continue to follow the breaks news outside of the empire state building just a short time ago. mayor bloomberg and commissioner kelly were able to confirm facts for us about who the murderer is, the shooter, 53-year-old jeffrey johnson, opening fire on a 41-year-old victim shot in the head. they have not identified the victim just yet. apparently johnson was a former
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employees of a local company, import i of designer women's apparel, who was let go a while ago, returned today and opened fired on his former employer. he then fled where a construction worker tipped police off. police then opened fire on the shooter. according to the mayor, the shooter drew his weapon and that's why police opened fire. in the fray that took place, nine others were injured, six have been taken to bellevue, three to cornell medical center in new york. we don't know the extent of their injuries. the only people that we do have the extent of their injuries and they're not injuries but they're dead, is the shooter and the person he murdered on west 33rd street. we are efforting injury updates on the nine other people. we don't know for certain whether or not johnson was the person who injured them with his weapon or if police were the ones that injured these innocent bystanders in trying to take johnson out. melissa harris-perry joins me in
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studio. you have been with me this whole time as we have been listening to this, the one thing that perked my ears up is that new york city is not immune to the national problem of gun violence. this really puts it to the forefront here in the city. >> it feels a little like the good, the bad, the ugly in this case. when we saw the tragedies in colorado, there was a lot of conversation about gun violence and gun laws, but of course, new york has very, very restrictive gun possession laws. yet as the mayor said, that doesn't mean that gun violence can't happen and even happen in these incredibly frightening, seemingly random ways. but i think the other thing we heard if we listen carefully was that the police officers were able to intervene so quickly because they were on their normal antiterrorism foot patrols, they were right there in the neighborhood, and so a construction worker was able to walk over to them and say officer, i have just seen something so we know that part
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of why this seems to have ended as quickly as it did is because the police were right there. the good part of the story, perhaps, is that we had community policing that helped bring it to an end quickly. >> big thing in new york city, if you see something, say something, which that construction worker did and may have saved a lot of lives by tipping off police. we will be back with much more after this. [ mannouer ne calett tas the awju s. well another great thing about all this walking i've been doing is that it's given me time to reflect on some of life's biggest questions.
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we've been following this whole hour the updates from the scene outside of the empire state building, where mayor bloomberg and police commissioner ray kelly updated us on the situation, the facts as we know it. there are two deaths, jeffrey johnson, the 53-year-old shooter, and a 41-year-old victim that he shot in the head in broad daylight this morning on west 33rd street. nine other people are injured. they were caught in the fray as police opened fire, an exchange back and forth. nbc's lester holt has been reporting from the scene and joins me now. now that people are learning more about this, is there any
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dissemination among the crowd, are they starting to leave or are they still sticking around? >> reporter: i think a lot of folks don't know, most of the crowd has left. you have some tourists here but the average new yorker that works in this area, have gone about their business. the impact of course is on either side of the police lines because a major part of manhattan continues to be shut down. but nonetheless, the fact it was a workplace nonetheless terrifying scenario as police bullets and the gunman's bullets were being exchanged and it left open the possibility some of those hit may have been hit by police bullets. >> we still wait to know the facts about whether or not these nine people taken to the hospitals here in new york city, six to bellevue, three to cornell, what the extent of their injuries are. we will work on that. lester holt, thank you, sir. we'll be back with much more. it's time to live...
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