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Shooter was casual like nothing happened

world Updated: Aug 24, 2012 23:39 IST
PTI
Empire State Building

A laid off man killed a co-worker outside the Empire State Building in New York on Friday morning.

Nine people were injured in the exchange of fire before the shooter — identified as Jeffrey Johnson, 53 — was killed by police officers who reached the crime site immediately.

Construction worker Chris Ogden, who was working on a scaffold above the building’s 33rd Street entrance, recounted the incident. He said that he watched in disbelief as the gunman — in a suit and carrying a briefcase — opened fire.

“He shot the guy in the head,” said Ogden, 23. “The guy went down. He took a second shot when he was down.”

The well-dressed shooter then “walked down the block, like nothing was happening, real casual,” Ogden said.

“We were screaming from the top, ‘It’s the guy in the grey suit!’” the report quoted him.

The Empire State Building is one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, and one of New York City’s best-known tourist attractions.

New York City has among the strictest gun laws in the US and its mayor Michael Bloomberg has been an outspoken supporter of stringent gun laws.

“We are not immune to the national problem of guns,” Bloomberg said, stressing the crime situation in New York city remained largely under control.

This is the third shootout in US in three months and the second this month. On August 5, a white supremacist had opened fire in a gurdwara in Wisconsin, killing six Sikh worshippers.

On July 20, a gunman had opened fire in a Colorado theatre showing The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 and injuring 57.

(With inputs from Yashwant Raj in Washington)