Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly Update New Yorkers on the Shooting Near the Empire State Building

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–August 24, 2012. The following are Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s remarks as delivered near the scene of the shooting this morning:

“Well good morning. I’m here with Police Commissioner Kelly, Chief of the Department Joe Esposito and Christine Quinn, the Speaker 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. All of those are not seriously wounded, and there is no expectation that any of them 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 is 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 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 are 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?”

The following are Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly’s remarks as delivered:

“Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I want to stress that what we have is preliminary information. It’s an 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 coworker, striking him three times. The subject, Jeffrey Johnson, age 53, then fled eastbound on West 33rd Street to Fifth Avenue when he walked northbound along the curb-line with a .45-caliber handgun secreted in a black bag that 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 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 – H-A-Z-A-N Imports – as a 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 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 Avenue of the Americas. 34th Street is closed between 7th and Madison Avenue.”