NYPD: Victims hit by police in ESB shooting - FOX 13 News

NYPD: Victims hit by police in ESB shooting

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The NYPD confirmed that all nine people injured during a confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were shot by the two officers. 

Police said they confirmed the accidental shooting based on ballistics evidence. 

The two officers gunned down Jeffrey Johnson when he turned and pointed a .45-caliber pistol at them as they confronted on the sidewalk Friday morning. 

Authorities said Officer Craig Matthews fired his weapon seven times and Officer Robert Sinishtaj fired his nine times. Both officers had never fired their weapons before on a patrol. 

Surveillance video showed the confrontation between police and Johnson with the final result showing Johnson shot and killed in just a few seconds. The shootout left nine other people bleeding on the sidewalk. 

"It appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters Saturday at a community event in Harlem.

Authorities said the officers had no choice but to shoot Johnson, whose body had 10 bullet wounds in the chest, arms and legs. 

The officers confronted Johnson as he walked, casually, down the street after he shot and killed Steve Ercolino, a former co-worker on the sidewalk outside the office they used to share.  

Police say Johnson and Ercolino had a history of workplace disputes before Johnson was laid off from their company, Hazan Import Corp., a year ago.  

A property manager at the building their business is located said the two men had fought in an elevator. The two men were seen on camera pushing and shoving. The fight ended when Ercolino let him go after he had pinned Johnson against the wall by his throat. 

Friday morning, Johnson walked away after he gunned down Ercolino as if nothing had happened. A construction worker alerted officers Matthews and Sinishtaj where Johnson was headed and pursued him before the chaotic confrontation along Fifth Avenue in front of the Empire State Building. 

Two women with leg wounds and a man with a wound to his buttocks required surgery and remained hospitalized Saturday. They were listed in stable condition. 

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