Update: Yes it was - Police: All Empire State shooting victims were wounded by officers
The official media-friendly narrative explaining yesterday's latest tragic shooting incident in midtown Manhattan in which a recently unemployed Jeffrey Johnson, 58, walked up to his former boss and shot him three times point blank before "calmly" walking away, is that Johnson also shot 9 other people, luckily none fatally, before being taken down by the NYPD. Sadly, as so often happens these days, the "media-friendly" narrative is wrong, and as CBS and Guardian report, Johnson did not fire during the quote unquote shootout, in which at least nine other perfectly innocent were hit, all of them by stray NYPD bullets.
From CBS: "Police said it is unlikely that Johnson fired during the shootout." Uhm, then isn't shootout a somewhat inaccurate word? "One witness told investigators that Johnson fired, but ballistics tests don’t back that up, authorities said... At least nine other people on the street were also shot, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it is unclear whether they were shot by the suspect or police. “Some may have been shot accidentally by police officers who responded immediately,” Bloomberg said." In other words of the (at least) 11 people shot yesterday, 2 of whom fatally, the NYPD was responsible for 10 of those shot, 9 of whom were literally "collateral damage" in a non-shoot out, and should be sacrificing various animals to their assorted guns that the NYPD, in missing their designated target, is at least quite atrocious in hitting any major organs. All of which of course begs the question: is a hit-to-miss (and potentially hit-to-casualty) ratio of less than 10% for New York's finest really acceptable and is this the kind of statistic that NY City wishes to boast in enticing new tourists?
Below is a graphic complete clip of what happened around 9 am yesterday:
And some more on what really transpired via the Guardian:
Robert Asika was among those wounded, shot in the elbow from a distance of around eight feet by one of the two police officers who confronted Johnson. He accused police of "shooting randomly", and said he saw at least two others hit by police bullets.
"If you're gonna aim try and aim perfectly. If you wanna aim at the target, you got to know what you're doing because it's the street," Asika said. "I could have been dead right now. I could have been dead."
Asika was working on 5th Avenue on Friday morning, selling tickets for tour buses and the building's observation deck. He had only been in the job a week, after having been unemployed for over a year. "I was just standing there and I saw people running. I didn't want to run because I wanted to know why people were running so I turned around and I saw this guy," he said.
Police said Johnson been employed for six years as a designer of women's accessories at Hazan Imports. Kelly said during a press conference that he was laid off as part of a downsizing at the firm. Kelly described the gunman as a "disgruntled former employee" who came back to confront his former manager. "He shot and killed the former co-worker, striking him three times," Kelly said.
Johnson moved to draw his weapon, a .45 caliber handgun, as the officers approached, police said. There are conflicting reports as to what happened next. "The [police] tape clearly shows that the gunman had the gun out, and was trying to kill the officers," Bloomberg said. Other officials at the scene reportedly said the man had not fired on police.
The two police officers discharged 14 rounds, killing Johnson outside the entrance to the Empire State Building. Kelly at first said Johnson fired on officers, but police later said they were trying to determine whether Johnson fired. "These officers ... had absolutely no choice," Kelly said. "This individual took a gun out very close to them and perhaps fired at them."
He didn't. Instead he was mowed down in a cannonade of fire by the NYPD which has shot at least 9 other perfectly innocent bystanders, of whom miraculously none were killed.
Four women and five men were taken to city hospitals with gunshot wounds, but none was believed to be in a life-threatening condition. Police shut down nearby streets as forensic teams checked the gunman's body. The FBI were quick to confirm that the attack was not an act of terrorism.
Askia described the scene when officers caught up with Johnson. He said the gunman stopped six feet away from him, with two officers about eight feet in the other direction. "All of a sudden the guy stopped, and he was facing a cop who was following him," Asika said.
"He just reached in his suit and took out the gun, and I saw him pull it [towards] the cops. I'm like, is this guy for real? One of the cops was trying to shoot back at him and one of them shot me while the other one shot the guy."
"As soon as the bullet hit me, I felt like I didn't feel it. But then as soon as I tried to get up, I couldn't get up. I looked there and the blood was gushing out," Asika said.
"I was crawling, trying to get across the street, to the safe side of the street. I got across the street and I just fell at the bus stop and I was laying there and I couldn't get up no more. I was so tired, I was so scared. I've never been scared like that in my whole life."
Erica Solar, a mother of two who works as a receptionist on 37th Street, was hit in the back of the leg as she made her way to Dunkin' Donuts. Solar's friend, Christopher Collins, found her lying on the street as he got off a bus on his way to work.
"She was basically in shock. She didn't know if she had gotten stabbed or if she had gotten shot, but she just knew she was bleeding, and I was just there trying to keep her calm until paramedics arrived," Collins told the Guardian.
"It was chaotic. Everybody was running, cops were there immediately," Collins said. Solar was taken to Bellevue hospital, about a mile from the Empire State Building.
Another among the wounded was Media Rosario, from Brooklyn, who like Solar was hit in the back of the leg. She said that everything happened so fast, she saw people running, and when she turned around to see what happened, she was already shot," said her sister-in-law, Auselis Rosario.
Asika said Bloomberg visited him in hospital, but he received no apology from police.
That's explainable: the Mayor was likely distracted by his profound confusion how a deranged assassin with intent to kill was so blatantly unaware of New York City Administrative Code § 10-131 on the use of Firearms, which effectively makes any use or carrying of guns in the city of New York illegal.
Oh well, time to cut the maximum legal size of a New York soda drink by edict one more time.