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Johnson worked at the company near the Empire State Building for about six years and was laid off because of downsizing, Kelly said.
"When I woke up this morning, I didn't even want to go to work," he said. They suffered graze wounds or other minor injuries, and police believe that at least some of the injuries were caused by bullet fragments that ricocheted off security planters.
"He was in the prime of his life," Paul Ercolino said, adding that the family was in shock. He said his brother was a gregarious salesman known to nieces and nephews as "Uncle Ducky" because of his nearly blond hair who had followed his father into the garment industry, then later worked in women's handbags and accessories.
Kelly said investigators believe police may be responsible for some of the injuries, based on the gunman's weapon. Johnson's semi automatic weapon was equipped to fire at least eight rounds; at least one round was left in the clip, police said. Another loaded magazine was in his briefcase.
Johnson, 58, and Ercolino had traded accusations of harassment when Johnson worked there, Kelly said. Johnson had been laid off about a year ago. Police said he blamed the victim, believing Ercolino had failed to aggressively promote his line of women's T shirts.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly initially said the officers were fired upon, but later said police were investigating. Johnson can be seen on video reaching into a bag, pulling out a .45 caliber pistol and pointing it at officers, Kelly said.
A construction worker who saw the shooting followed Johnson and alerted two police officers, a detail regularly assigned to patrol city landmarks like the 1,454 foot skyscraper since the 9/11 terror attacks, officials said.
"Jeffrey just came from behind two cars, pulled out his gun, put it up to Steve's head and shot him," said Carol Timan, whose daughter, Irene, was walking to Hazan Imports at the time with Ercolino.
his eldest brother, Paul Ercolino.
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Ercolino's profile on the business networking site LinkedIn identified him as a vice president of sales at Hazan Import. It said he was a graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta.
Robert Asika, who was shot in the right arm, said he was "100 percent positive" that a police officer had shot him. He also said he saw Johnson fire his gun at the officers.
Asika, 23, sells tickets for the Empire State Building's observatory.
Hazan Import Corp. imports women's clothing and accessories, according to public records. Calls to its executives weren't immediately returned
The gunman walked away and calmly turned up 5th Avenue, where he blended in with the crowd, police said.
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Johnson legally bought the gun in Sarasota, Fla., in 1991, but he didn't have a required permit to possess the weapon in New York City, police said.
There were conflicting accounts about whether Johnson fired at the police officers or just pointed the gun at them.
He never mentioned to the family that he had any problems with a co worker, Paul Ercolino said.
Even after he was laid off, Johnson would leave his Upper East Side apartment building each morning in a suit, and often returned about a half hour later after going to get breakfast at McDonald's, his neighbors said.
A laid off clothing designer fatally shot an executive at his former company outside the Empire State Building on Friday, setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best known landmarks.
"People were yelling 'Get down! Get down!'" said Marc Engel, an accountant who was on a bus in the area when he heard the shots. A witness told investigators that Johnson shot Ercolino once in the head and, after he fell to the sidewalk, stood over him and shot him four more times.
NEW YORK A laid off clothing designer fatally shot an executive at his former company outside the Empire State Building on Friday, setting off a chaotic showdown with police in front of one of the world's best known landmarks. Jordan Hats White And Black .
know, is the safest big city in the country, and we are on pace to have a record low number of murders this year," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. "But we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence," he said about the shooting, which comes in the wake of mass shootings inside a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.
"These officers . had absolutely no choice," Kelly said. "This individual took a gun out very close to them and perhaps fired at them."
He was single and had recently moved to New Jersey after living for a time in Warwick, just north of New York City, said Nike Cap Heritage 86
9 wounded outside Empire State Building
The two officers drew their weapons and fired 16 rounds, killing Johnson, Kelly said.
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