Gunman shot dead after killing former colleague near Empire State Building; 9 others wounded


| brennison@queenscourier.com |

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Two are dead — including the gunman — and nine bystanders wounded at a shootout outside the Empire State Building.

Recently fired Jeffrey Johnson, 53, stationed himself outside his former employers, Hazan Imports, and fatally wounded a 41-year-old former colleague.

After opening fire on the victim, Johnson fled northbound; a construction worker spotted him and alerted officers near the Empire State Building.

As the cops approached the suspect, Johnson fired at them.  The police returned fire, killing Johnson, said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

“This is a terrible tragedy and there’s no doubt the situation would have been even more tragic of not for the extraordinary acts of heroism actions of some police officers,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said about two hours after the shooting.

The nine victims were all taken to area hospitals and are expected to survive, the mayor said.

It is unclear at the moment if the victims were hit by the police or the suspect.

The disgruntled former employee was let go about a year ago from the women’s apparel company.