NEW YORK CITY, NY (CNN) -- Two people are dead and at least eight others injured in a shooting outside the Empire State Building this morning. Police say the gunman had been laid off and sought revenge on a former co-worker.
Chaos and confusion on the streets of New York as gunfire erupts in the heart of a busy tourist and business area.
It was 9 a.m. When a man police identify as Jeffrey Johnson approached the Empire State Building. Johnson had worked as a women's accessories designer for Hazan Imports but was laid off last year. Ray Kelly with NYPD says, "In a dispute with one of the former employees of Hazan, in front of the building, Johnson produced a pistol and fired at close range, striking his 41 year old victim in the head."
Kelly said Johnson left the scene and stashed the gun in a black bag but was spotted by a construction worker. The worker followed Johnson and tipped off nearby police. Kelly says, "As the two officers approached Johnson he pulled his 45 caliber semi automatic pistol from his bag and fired on the officers who returned fire, killing him."
Nine other people were wounded or grazed during the gun battle between police and Johnson. NYC Michael Bloomberg says, "And some may have been shot accidentally by police officers who responded immediately."
Rebecca Fox was nearby and was at the scene before police arrived. She says, "When I walked across the street I saw a woman had been shot in the foot. She was just in shock sitting there. There were ambulances literally in 30 seconds."
The nine injured bystanders have been sent to two separate hospitals in New York.