NEW YORK (AP) -- A recently fired store worker shot a former colleague to death and then randomly started shooting others near the Empire State Building before he was shot by police officers, law enforcement officials said.

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Eight other people were struck by bullets when the shooting started at about 9 a.m. on the Fifth Avenue side of the building but those injuries are not believed to be life threatening, police said.

The two law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. They said the gunman previously worked at a store inside the landmark skyscraper.

Crowds of tourists and people on their way to work gathered along 34th Street, which was shut down by police. Police helicopters buzzed overhead and swarms of officers were gathered around the crime scene.

Queens resident Rebecca Fox, 27, said she saw people running down the street and initially thought it was a celebrity sighting, but then saw a woman shot in the foot and a man dead on the ground.

"I was scared and shocked and literally shaking," she said. She said police seemed to appear in seconds. "It was like CSI, but it was real."

Hassam Cissa, 22, of the Bronx, said he saw two bodies on the ground, and police applying a white cloth to a man's stomach wound.

Gunshots so close to one of the city's leading tourist attractions immediately prompted fears of terrorism, but federal officials said that wasn't the case, and a guard at skyscraper said it didn't involve the parts of the building where tourists gather to visit the skyscraper.

The gunfire came less than two weeks after a knife-wielding man was shot dead by police near another tourist-saturated part of the city. Authorities say police shot 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy after he lunged at officers with a kitchen knife Aug. 12. Kennedy was smoking marijuana in Times Square on a Saturday afternoon when officers first approached, police said. It was the beginning of an encounter that would stretch for seven of the most crowded blocks in New York City.

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  • Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly speaks near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • This photo posted to an Instagram account belonging to a person identified as paulnshapiro, an eyewitness at the scene, shows a victim of a shooting, with police standing by, outside the Empire State Building in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. The identity or condition of the victim was not immediately known. A disgruntled laid-off women's accessories designer shot a former co-worker to death in front of the Empire State Building, causing a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police killed the suspect and at least nine others were wounded, some possibly by police gunfire, city officials said. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. Friday at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. (AP Photo/paulnshapiro via Instagram)

  • An official inspects evidence near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Michael Bloomberg

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to the media near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Officials examine a body near the Empire State Building following a shooting, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper and then randomly opened fired on people nearby before firing on police. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • An unidentified woman is treated by emergency medical technicians inside an ambulance following a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • This photo posted to an Instagram account belonging to a person identified as mr_mookie, an eyewitness at the scene, shows a victim of a shooting being tended to by pedestrians outside the Empire State Building in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. The identity or condition of the victim was not immediately known. Law enforcement officials in New York City say at least four people have been shot outside the Empire State Building in violence that stemmed from a workplace dispute, and that the gunman has been killed by police. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. Friday at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. (AP Photo/mr_mookie via Instagram)

  • Bystanders and a police officer stand on Fifth Avenue to view the scene after a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • Rebecca Cox

    Rebecca Cox talks to media while recounting what she saw immediately following a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • In this photo made with a cell phone, officials examine the body of gunman Jeffrey Johnson, who was killed by police gunfire after he fatally shot Steven Ercolino, an executive at his former company, outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least nine bystanders were hit by gunfire in the confrontation. (AP Photo/Lee Weinstein)

  • New York City police stand near the body of shooting victim Steven Ercolino, 41, on a sidewalk near the Empire State Building in New York, Friday Aug. 24, 2012. According to city officials, Ercolino, a vice president of sales for Hazan Imports, was fatally shot by Jeffrey Johnson, 58, a woman's accessories designer whom Ercolino had laid off, outside the Empire State Building setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police officers killed the gunman and at least nine others were wounded, some by stray police gunfire, authorities said. (AP Photo/Daniel Stevens/humanelectricblog.tumblr.com)

  • This cell phone photo taken by Brendan Gunn, shows the body of shooting victim Steven Ercolino, 41, in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. According to city officials, Ercolino, a vice president of sales for Hazan Imports, was fatally shot by Jeffrey Johnson, 58, a woman's accessories designer whom Ercolino had laid off, outside the Empire State Building setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best-known landmarks. Police officers killed the gunman and at least nine others were wounded, some by stray police gunfire, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brendan Gunn)

  • Evidence lies on the street near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say a recently laid-off worker shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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  • New York City police approach the lifeless body of Jeffrey Johnson lying on a sidewalk near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say 58-year-old Johnson, who was laid off from a nearby shop in 2011, shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Guillermo Ratzlaff)

  • Police surround a sheet covered body, lowser left, on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk as they investigate a multiple shooting outside the Empire State Building, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in New York. At least four people were shot on Friday morning and the gunman was dead, New York City officials said. A witness said the gunman was firing indiscriminately. Police said as many as 10 people were injured, but it is unclear how many were hit by bullets. A law enforcement official said the shooting was related to a workplace dispute. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

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The NYPD has released a video that shows the confrontation between Empire State Building shooter Jeffrey Johnson and police officers Friday morning.

WARNING: video is extremely graphic.

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From The Village Voice:

Mayor Mike Bloomberg confirmed at a press conference this morning that there's a chance some of the victims were accidentally shot by police who were trying to take out the initial gunman, 53-year-old Jeffery Johnson. We're told eight of those wounded were shot by police, who were returning fire at Johnson, who pointed a 45-caliber handgun at officers and witnesses say fired at least one round. However, it's unclear whether he actually fired the weapon.

Before any alarm bells are rung, it should be noted that Johnson drew his gun on officers before fatally meeting the business end of a cop's service weapon, so the police were more than justified in taking him out. But the fact remains: eight people were shot by police this morning.

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HuffPost's John Rudolf and Anna Sanders report on the shooter:

Jeffrey Johnson, 58, almost always wore a suit and tie, even after losing his job as an accessories designer a year ago, according to Gisela Casella, 71, a neighbor who said she spoke with him often. His suits were "immaculate," and the sound of vacuuming could often be heard from inside his apartment, she said.

Guillermo Suarez, the building's superintendent, said Johnson was friendly but was always alone. "This guy was very mellow," he said. "Very mellow and very lonely."

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From The AP:

A woman who saw the shooting outside the Empire State Building tells her mother that the gunman came from behind two cars, pulled out a gun, put it up to a former co-worker's head and shot him three times without saying a word.

Carol Timan tells The Associated Press that her daughter Irene called her minutes after the Friday morning shooting.

Police say Jeffrey Johnson, a women's accessories designer, fatally shot a vice president of the company that laid him off. Authorities say officers killed the suspect. At least nine others were wounded, some by stray police gunfire.

Carol Timan says her 35-year-old daughter worked at the same company until about two weeks ago. She says Irene Timan knew both the shooter and the victim, Steven Ercolino.

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From Cavan Sieczkowski:

In February 1997, a gunman man opened fire on an observation deck, killing one and wounding six others before shooting himself, CNN reported at the time.

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Anthony Malkin, whose family controls the Empire State Building, released a statement:

"The Empire State Building and its Observatories remained open throughout [the shooting], and continue to be open and operating. At no time was there any related activity in the building. We express our deepest concern for those innocents who were hurt and our appreciation to the NYPD."

For more, go here.

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The AP caption:

New York City police approach the lifeless body of Jeffrey Johnson lying on a sidewalk near the Empire State Building in New York following a shooting Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Police say 58-year-old Johnson, who was laid off from a nearby shop in 2011, shot a former colleague to death near the iconic skyscraper, then randomly opened fire on people nearby before firing on police. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said some of the victims may have been hit by police bullets as police and the gunman exchanged fire. (AP Photo/Guillermo Ratzlaff)

jeffrey johnson

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According to the AP, "This photo posted to an Instagram account belonging to a person identified as mr_mookie, an eyewitness at the scene, shows a victim of a shooting being tended to by pedestrians outside the Empire State Building in New York, Friday, Aug. 24, 2012."

For more photos from this morning's shootings, go here.

empire state building shooting

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New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweets, "My thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims of yet another senseless tragedy today."

For more reactions from politicians, go here.

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@ NYTMetro : #EmpireState shoot victim Steve Ercolino had order of protection against Jeffrey Johnson at one point, co-worker says.

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View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

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And update from Gothamist:

Kelly just came back and added some more details: it seems Johnson and the victim were involved in an "ongoing dispute"—they were cross complainants in some kind of harassment case.

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From Gothamist:

"A man who had been fired from his job about a year or so began shooting near the Empire State Building on the street," Bloomberg said [during the press conference]. "He killed one person and 9 others were shot, and some may have been shot accidentally by police officers who responded."

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@ NBCNews : MT @edgarzuniga Suspect Jeffrey Johnson, 53 yrs old... employed for six yrs at Hazan Imports as designer of women's accessories #ESBShooting

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@ NYTMetro : .@MikeBloomberg: When cops confronted Johnson, he drew 45-cal semiautomatic from bag. Unclear who he shot. #EmpireState

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@ NYTMetro : Police commish Kelly: 9 bystanders shot but none life-threatening #EmpireState

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"New York City is the safest big city in the country," says Mayor Bloomberg. "But we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence."

Watch live video of press conference below.

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Two law enforcement officials in New York City say a recently fired store worker shot a former colleague to death and then randomly opened fired on others near the Empire State Building.

The officials say eight other people were struck by bullets but those injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

The officials say the gunman previously worked at a store inside the landmark skyscraper. The shooting happened at about 9 a.m. Friday at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Federal officials say the shooting isn't related to terrorism, and a guard at the landmark said it didn't involve the parts of the building where tourists gather to visit the skyscraper.

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@ WSJwashington : Obama was notified of Empire State Building shooting shortly after 9:30 a.m. by his Homeland Security adviser, John Brennan. #esb

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Courtesy of HuffPost's Zuania Capo-Ramos.

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Courtesy of HuffPost's Mark Hanrahan:

empire state building shooting

empire state building shooting

empire state building shooting

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Watch it here.

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@ CNBC : NYC Mayor Bloomberg, Police Comm. Kelly to provide update on Empire State Building incident at 11am ET.

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From Flickr user Fotomcm.com:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcmphotography/

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Courtesy of HuffPost's Mark Hanrahan.

empire state building shooting

empire state building shooting

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@ ProducerMatthew : WCBS: Suspect went into the store, shot the manager dead, went on to shoot others. Suspect also deceased in shooting near Empire State Bldg

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Courtesy of HuffPost's Mark Hanrahan.

empire state building shooting

empire state building shooting

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@ thecyclemsnbc : WNBC: Gunman was fired from his job yesterday

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"An NYPD cop on foot patrol — part of the Critical Response Vehicle unit — killed the gunman with one shot"

Read more here.

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