Empire State Shooting: Police Identify Suspect, Ask for Prayers

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have identified Jeffrey Johnson, 53, as the shooter in the Empire State Building shootings that occurred at 9:03 a.m. this morning.

"One man fired one year ago is dead, nine other people have been shot, some perhaps accidentally, by police officers confronting shooter. All of those are not seriously wounded, no expectation of anything other than recovery. I ask everyone to keep the victims in their thoughts and prayers," Bloomberg said.

"This situation would have been more tragic had it not been for extraordinary acts of heroism … civilians whose bravery and assistance probably saved lives. We are not immune to national problem of gun violence," he added.

Commissioner Ray Kelly provided brief information about the ongoing investigation.

"At 9:03 a.m. this morning, a former employee from company, tried to kill a former co-worker, struck co-worker three times. Jeffrey Johnson, 53, pulled a 45-caliber as two officers approached. They returned fire, killing him," the commissioner said.

"Right now there are six victims at Bellevue and three were taken to New York Presbyterian. He had been employed for six years at Hazan Imports. About a year ago, he was laid off. He was in a dispute with former employee, fired at close range, striking 41-year-old victim in the head," Kelly continued.

The victims' identities were not released because their families have not been notified. Kelly also noted that no children were harmed in this morning's shooting, and neither were any senior citizens. Seven men and two women were allegedly hurt during the encounter.

Johnson was apparently targeting his co-worker and laid in wait outside the Empire State Building. He did shoot the co-worker, possibly three times, and succeeded in killing him.

Police are still investigating, and traffic has been diverted from the area as officials continue to work.