A surveillance video has emerged of today’s Empire State Building shooting in which NYPD officers ended up shooting several innocent bystanders as they shot and killed a murderous gunman.
The slightly grainy video, which contains no audio, shows the gunman walking down the sidewalk as a pair of New York City cops run up behind him.
He then spots the cops and appears to pull out a gun from his briefcase, pointing it at the cops.
The two cops, one who may have already had his gun drawn, the other who appears to have been pulling out his gun, start firing, eventually killing him as bystanders scatter for cover.
It is not clear from the video whether or not he got off a shot but it is pretty clear that was his intent.
But the Associated Press is reporting that suspect Jeffrey Johnson did not get off a single shot, indicating that police are responsible for striking nine innocent bystanders.
The bystanders likely were hit by police officers’ stray gunfire, some of it bullets that rebounded off planters in front of the skyscraper and grazed pedestrians.
The two officers fired 16 shots. The surveillance video shows Johnson pointing his weapon at police, but it’s likely he did not get a chance to fire, investigators said.
It all started when Johnson went into his former workplace and shot and killed a man with whom he had a long-running feud.
Police were looking into his relationship with the victim, Steven Ercolino, the company’s vice president of sales, who had traded accusations of harassment with Johnson when he worked there. Johnson, 58, also blamed Ercolino for his layoff, saying that he hadn’t aggressively marketed Johnson’s new T-shirt line, police spokesman Paul Browne said.
After waiting for Ercolino, 41, to come to work, Johnson walked up to him, pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and fired at his head, Kelly said. After he fell to the ground, Johnson stood over him and shot four more times, a witness told investigators.
“Jeffrey just came from behind two cars, pulled out his gun, put it up to Steve’s head and shot him,” said Carol Timan, whose daughter, Irene, was walking to Hazan Imports at the time with Ercolino.
A construction worker who saw the shooting followed Johnson and alerted two police officers, a detail regularly assigned to patrol city landmarks such as the 1,454-foot skyscraper since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, officials said.
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I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
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