Once again this summer, the media went into rolling coverage of a deadly shooting on a Friday morning.
This time, the shooting took place just outside the Empire State Building in New York, the epicenter of the media world. Unlike the tragedy in Aurora, CO, national reporters were able to go very swiftly to the scene.
All three cable news networks joined the local New York stations, providing wall-to-wall coverage of the shootings. According to TVNewser, Fox News was the first cable network to switch to the story, followed in short order by MSNBC and CNN. The networks were forced to put their reporters on the phone while they scurried to set up cameras at the scene.
NBC News broke in with a special report at 10 AM ET, anchored by "Today" hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie. The New York stations did not carry that report, choosing to stick with their local newscasts.
"CBS This Morning" also went live for its West Coast audience with updates on the shootings.
BEFORE YOU GO
24/08/2012 22:52 BST
8 Of Those Injured In Shooting Were Shot By Police
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.
24/08/2012 21:58 BST
Shooter Remembered As 'Very Lonely'
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."
24/08/2012 21:26 BST
Witness Tells Mother: Gunman Said Nothing
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.
24/08/2012 20:19 BST
There Was A Shooting At The ESB In 1997
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.
24/08/2012 20:13 BST
The Empire State Building Is Open
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.
24/08/2012 20:07 BST
GRAPHIC PHOTO: Police Approach Slain Shooter
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)
24/08/2012 18:26 BST
PHOTO: Pedestrians Help Shooting Victim
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.
24/08/2012 18:02 BST
Politicians React To Shooting
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.
24/08/2012 17:51 BST
@ NYTMetro :
#EmpireState shoot victim Steve Ercolino had order of protection against Jeffrey Johnson at one point, co-worker says.
24/08/2012 16:56 BST
Ongoing Dispute Between Shooter And Victim
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.