August 24, 2012 - A gunman shot multiple people near the Empire State Building
in the Midtown area of Manhattan on Friday morning, according to several news
New York City's ABC 7 reported that the shooting occurred at Fifth Avenue
and West 34th Street around 9 a.m. ET. The New York Post reported that 8 people were wounded, and two people—the shooter and a bystander—died. The incident, the Post said, was the result of a co-worker dispute.
The Associated Press
and others reported that police shot and killed the gunman near the tourist entrance of the Empire State Building.
Word of the shooting spread rapidly on social media networks.
"On 5th avenue surrounded by helicopters and police," @CeciliaHalling wrote on Twitter. "I'm very glad I wasn't 20 blocks further down half an hour ago."
The number of fatalities has not been made official.Police
cordoned off a one block perimeter around the Empire State Building
after the shooting. Around 10 a.m., a lone tourist bus headed down Fifth Avenue, and a guide could be heard over the bus's mic explaining they were nearing the landmark. As police waved the bus to detour down 36th street, the guide was openly mystified. "I don't know what's going on, folks," he said, as the bus turned. By then the bus's passengers were looking up at the sky at a news helicopter floating overhead. Some stood, clutching their cameras.
Along 35th street, hundreds of people stood photographing the scene with iPhones and iPads. Officers could be seen standing in the middle of 34th street around a scene surrounded by police tape. Television producers roamed the crowd looking for guests. "Was anybody here when this happened? Was anybody here when this happened?" one NBC producer yelled.
Eyewitnesses told CNN that the gunman was using a rifle or shotgun.