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Gunman Killed After Opening Fire Near Empire State Building

Police stand near the covered body of the suspected shooter on 5th Avenue near the Empire State Building in New York City on August 24.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says police have shot dead a gunman outside the Empire State Building after he murdered a former co-worker and turned his weapon on police.

Nine people at the crowded tourist destination were injured by gunfire.

Bloomberg said some may have been hit inadvertently by police bullets.

Bloomberg said 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson was laid off a year ago from his job as a women's apparel designer and argued outside the company's headquarters with the 41-year-old murder victim before shooting the man dead.

Bloomberg said Johnson fled about a block, then pulled his gun on two police posted at the entrance of the Empire State Building as part of New York's counterterrorism program.

Police have ruled out any link to terrorism.

Witnesses and a police source said one person was killed when the gunman opened fire, but that information has not been officially confirmed.

Witnesses said the gunman appeared to have been armed with a sawed-off shotgun.

Police say they are investigating the gunman's motive.

The shootings took place in a congested area while tourists were lining up to visit the Empire State Building, one of the world's most recognizable buildings and a top tourism destination.

Based on reporting by RFE/RL, Reuters, AP, and AFP

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