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Shooting Outside Empire State Building Draws Local TV Coverage

Empire State Building at night - P 2012
Getty Images

UPDATED: The networks interrupted other programming with ABC dispatching a helicopter to the scene.

Local New York news stations rushed to the scene on Friday morning following a shooting outside the Empire State Building that left two people dead and nine injured.

According to reports, Jeffrey Johnson, a 58-year-old fashion accessories designer from Manhattan, used a .45 caliber handgun to shoot and kill former coworker, Steven Ercolino, 41, with whom he worked at the apparel company Hazan Import Corp, on a sidewalk near the landmark skyscraper and tourist destination.

Johnson was laid off last year. After firing three shots at Ercolino during 9 a.m. rush hour, stunning tourists and commuters on 33rd street, he ran away while a construction worker trailed him and alerted police in the area, said New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, according to The Wall Street Journal.

He then shot at a pair of police officers, who shot back, killing Johnson; bullets wounded bystanders in the process. Those injured are expected to survive, Reuters reports, citing New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg. According to The Business Insider, nine people were shot or injured with five having minor injuries and four with non-urgent injuries.

As the news broke, ABC's Eyewitness News dispatched a helicopter to capture footage of the aftermath while other local stations including Fox and CBS interrupted regular programming to report the breaking news.