A 53-year-old fashion accessories designer – angry about being sacked by his employer – shot and killed a former co-worker near New York’s Empire State Building on Friday, according to officials.
Police returned fire, killing the gunman and wounding several bystanders.
Police identified the gunman as Jeffrey Johnson of Manhattan, who had worked at Hazan Imports, opposite the iconic skyscraper.
The shooting happened during the morning rush hour, causing panic amongst commuters and tourists.
The wounded bystanders are all expected to survive, Mayor Michael Bloomberg told a news conference. There was no link to the historic tower – it just happened to be next door – and Bloomberg ruled out any connection to terrorism.
It is the third high-profile shooting incident of the summer in the United States, following an assault on a crowded cinema in Colorado and an attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, rekindling debate about gun control in America.
“We are not immune to the national problem of gun violence,” said Bloomberg, a leading national proponent of gun control and founder of the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.