Empire State Building Gunfight – 2 Dead, 9 Wounded
A disgruntled former employee and his victim, a former co-worker, died outside New York City’s iconic landmark, the Empire State Building. The alleged gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, 58, shot and killed Steve Ercolino, 41.
Reportedly, the 2 were polar opposites: Johnson – quiet and meticulous, artistic, a loner; Ercolino – brash, confident, outgoing. Ercolino was the vice president of sales of Hazan Imports, located in a building on West 33rd Street and opposite the Empire State Building. Johnson, who had been dismissed from Hazan almost 2 years earlier, designed T-shirts and women’s fashion accessories. It was suggested by coworkers: 2 big egos sharing one tiny space.
Johnson and Ercolino reportedly had a long-standing office feud of back-and-forth harassment accusations. Months later after his dismissal, it was reported to the police, Johnson had appeared unannounced in the building and had confronted Ercolino in an elevator. So heated was the exchange the 2 came close to blows.
After Johnson, the alleged gunman with a grudge, had killed Ercolino, he put the gun into a black bag and began walking away amid a shocked, frozen group of sidewalk bystanders. He was trailed, however, by a construction worker, Brian Dillon, who then alerted two NYPD officers.
Johnson saw the two approaching officers and pulled out his gun again. He shot first. However, his gun jammed – 2 shells were still in its clip, as later reported. The officers returned fire, killing him. During the short, intense gun battle 9 civilians were wounded by bullets and cement sidewalk fragments ricocheting
Facebook already alive, comments have rained in – about the easy access to handguns and the 2nd Amendment never intending an outcome such as this. However, the act, so publicly and shockingly carried out, the unflinching police response, and the great number of witnesses will most likely preclude any criminal attorney or activist from stirring the pot about excessive force or wrongful death.