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Gunman on shooting spree,10 shot,2 dead near New York’s Empire State Building

The shooting started shortly after 9 a.m. on the busy sidewalk on Fifth Avenue.

Two people were killed and at least eight were wounded in a shooting outside the landmark Empire State Building in New York City on Friday,a New York police source said.

A 53-year-old fashion accessories designer,disgruntled over being fired a year ago,shot and killed a 41-year-old former co-worker three times with a .45 caliber handgun on a sidewalk near the landmark building,officials said.

Police returned fire,killing the shooter and wounding several bystanders,all of whom were expected to survive,Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly identified the shooter as Jeffrey Johnson of Manhattan,who had worked at Hazan Imports across the street from the skyscraper. The shooting took place outdoors,at the height of the tourist season by one of New York City’s most popular attractions

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A white tarp covered what was believed to be a body in front of the entrance to the office building but police declined to confirm if it was the shooter.

I heard the gunshots,said Dahlia Anister,33,who works at an office near the 102-story Empire State Building. It was like pop,pop,pop. It was definitely in a bunch.

The shooting started shortly after 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) on the busy sidewalk on Fifth Avenue outside the Midtown Manhattan building.

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It came at the height of the tourist season outside one of New York City’s most popular attractions,startling tourists and commuters. Police cordoned off the area around the building,one of the most recognizable in the world.

The Empire State Building is two blocks from Pennsylvania Station and a few blocks from Grand Central Terminal,two of New York City’s main transportation hubs.

People started running,saying somebody has a gun,so I just ran the other way. I was scared,said Adrianne Lapar,27,who works in the Empire State Building.

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Construction worker Chris Ogden told the Daily News tabloid he was working on a scaffold above one entrance to the building when he saw someone in a suit and carrying a briefcase start shooting.

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

Ogden said then casually walked away. “We were screaming from the top,’It’s the guy in the grey suit!”’ Ogden said.

Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News television she was standing at a red light when a woman standing next to her fell to the ground. She said the woman was hit in the hip.

The gunman was “shooting indiscriminately at people,” Imam said.

A body remained at the scene more than an hour after the shooting. Police scoured the area for bullets.

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Witness Rebecca Fox told CNN that she saw a woman who was shot in the foot,and another woman showed her a photo of someone who had been shot in the head. “It was just very gruesome,” Fox said. “It was just a crazy scene.”

The United States has had two other mass shooting cases this summer. On July 20,James Holmes,24,is accused of opening fire at a midnight screening of the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora,Colorado,killing 12 people and wounding 58.

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On Aug. 5,a gunman killed six people and critically wounded three at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee before police shot him dead in an attack authorities treated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The Empire State Building was the world’s tallest building for 40 years from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center. Following the Sept. 11,2001,attacks,it was again the tallest building in the city,though was recently surpassed by a new tower under construction at the World Trade Center.

TIMELINE

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Here is a timeline of some of the worst shooting incidents in recent times carried out by one or two gunmen in the United States:

April 1999 – Two heavily armed teenagers go on a rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton,Denver,shooting 13 students and staff before taking their own lives.

July 1999 – A gunman kills nine people at two brokerages in Atlanta,after apparently killing his wife and two children. He commits suicide five hours later.

October 2002 – John Muhammad and Lee Malvo kill 10 people in a string of sniper-style shootings that terrorize the Washington,D.C. area.

Nov. 21,2004 – A 35-year-old Hmong immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen allegedly shoots eight people,killing six,while deer hunting east of Birchwood in northern Wisconsin.

April 16,2007 – Virginia Tech,a university in Blacksburg,Virginia,becomes site of the deadliest rampage in U.S. history when a gunman kills 32 people and himself.

Jan. 8,2011 – Then-U.S. congresswomen Gabrielle Giffords is target of an assassination attempt in Tuscon,Arizona in which six people are killed and 13,including Giffords,wounded.

April 2,2012 – A gunman,identified by police as Korean-American One Goh,kills seven people and wounds three others in a shooting rampage at a Christian college in Oakland.

July 20,2012 – A masked gunman kills 12 people and wounds 58 others when he opens fire on moviegoers at a showing of the recent Batman film The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora,a suburb of Denver,Colorado.

Aug. 5,2012 – A gunman kills six people during Sunday services at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek,Wisconsin,before he is shot dead by a police officer.

Aug. 24,2012 – Two people are killed and eight wounded in a shooting outside the landmark Empire State Building in New York City at the height of the tourist season.

First published on: 24-08-2012 at 08:04:25 pm
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