Video And Pics After The Jump
A man who held a grudge against an ex co-worker killed the man moments before being gunned down himself by police near the Empire State building in New York City Friday.
Jeffrey Johnson, dressed in a business suit and carrying a suitcase which contained additional ammo, shot 41-year old Steven Ercolino five times, killing him on a W. 33rd St. sidewalk.
Ercolino was headed back to his sales job at Hazan Imports Corp. after grabbing breakfast at a coffee shop when he was ambushed by Johnson, who shot Ercolino once in the head, then stood over him firing four more rounds according to the New York Daily News.
“He just kept shooting him, over and over,” said a construction worker who watched the shooting from scaffolding on the skyscraper. “He had something against that guy. He knew what he came to do.”
Johnson, 53, worked for Hazan Import Corp. as a designer of women’s accesories for six years. He was laid off a year ago when the company downsized.
Johnson blamed the victim for the failure of his T-shirt line. Ercolino was a vice president of sales.
“Steve and Jeff never got along,” said co-worker Irene Timan. “Jeff just didn’t like him. He would taunt Steve, throw his elbow or shoulder into him in the hallway. Then they had a little altercation in the elevator and soon after Jeff was laid off, we never heard from or saw him again — until this morning.”
NBC New York said that in 2011, while riding in an elevator together, Johnson told Ercolino, “I am going to kill you.”
On Friday Johnson made good on that threat.
After killing Ercolino, Johnson started walking down the sidewalk, but was soon confronted by two New York police officers. Johnson pulled out a gun and turned to face the officers who opened fire on him.
The cops fired 16 shots before Johnson could get off a single shot. He was killed instantly.
“It was a frozen moment,” said witness Karaann White. “I’m just glad it wasn’t a terrorist attack,” she said. “Because it was at the Empire State Building, that’s what we all thought it was.”
Johnson shot dead lying face down.
A total of 9 innocent bystanders were hit by police gunfire. All are expected to make full recoveries.
NYPD released footage of the fatal shooting. Watch that below.
Pics from New York Daily News