Eviction may have put gunman over the edge - FOX 13 News

Eviction may have put gunman over the edge

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Jeffrey Johnson, the laid-off designer who shot and killed a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building, may have finally snapped when he learned he was being evicted from his Upper East Side apartment, according to the New York Post.

Johnson spent the last two years blaming his victim, Steven Ercolino, for his financial woes.

Johnson was upset over being fired from Hazan Import at 10 W. 33rd Street where he worked for six years.

The Post says an employee claims Johnson was laid off simply because business was bad.

Johnson blamed Ercolino, who was a salesman for the company and felt he was not doing enough to push the products Johnson designed.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on Saturday that "Johnson had filed a complaint against Ercolino saying he had a confrontation with him in the lobby of the building and Ercolino filed a complaint saying he was threatened by Johnson and he possibly threatened to kill him."

All of this may have reached a breaking point when Johnson's landlord threatened him with  eviction.

Apparently, Johnson wasn't able to maintain the rent on his one-bedroom co-op he had rented on East 82nd Street, according to the Post.

Friday morning, Johnson waited behind a truck outside the 10 West 33rd Street building until Ercolino arrived around 9:00 a.m.

Johnson killed Ercolino by shooting him in the head and then fired four more bullets into him while on the ground.

The suit-wearing shooter calmly walked to the corner to Fifth Avenue when he was confronted by two police officers.  Johnson drew his gun and officers fired 16 times, killing him and wounding nine pedestrians with bullets and ricochet fragments.

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