Gunman opens fire at Empire State Building

2012-08-24 16:20

New York - Two people were killed and at least eight were wounded in a shooting outside the landmark Empire State Building in New York City on Friday, according to a New York police source.

One of the dead was the shooter, the source said, adding that there was no apparent link to terrorism.

Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News television she was standing at a red light when a woman standing next to her fell to the ground. She said the woman was hit in the hip.

The gunman was "shooting indiscriminately at people," Imam said.

"I heard the gunshots," said Dahlia Anister, 33, who works at an office near the 102-storey Empire State Building. "It was like pop, pop, pop. It was definitely in a bunch."

The victims were shot shortly after 09:00 (13:00 GMT) on the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue outside the building in Midtown Manhattan.

The shooting broke out at the height of the tourist season outside one of New York City's most popular attractions, startling tourists and commuters in one of the busiest areas of the city.

The building is two blocks from Pennsylvania Station, one of New York City's main transportation hubs.

The United States has had two other mass shooting cases this summer. On July 20, James Holmes, 24, allegedly opened fire at a midnight screening of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and wounding 58.

On August 5, a gunman killed six people and critically wounded three at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee before police shot him dead in an attack authorities treated as an act of domestic terrorism.

The Empire State Building was the world's tallest building for 40 years from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Centre. Following the 11 September 2001, attacks, it was again the tallest building in the city.

  • jannie.devos.56 - 2012-08-24 16:28

    Scary stuff! What is happening to our world?

      Mark - 2012-08-24 17:09

      Some Romans, asked the same question when Caesar was assassinated, but in Latin obviously.

      smellarat.smith - 2012-08-24 17:29

      I will tell you. The US has the most crazy gun laws in the First World. Guns end up in the hands of deranged people, and I am not even talking criminals here. Psychotic people. And the response of the US majority - this could have been avoided if we were all carrying guns. Wild West stuff. Until the US passes laws to at least make sure that guns are not sold like candy to deranged people, there will be a continued price to pay. I am not against normal, responsible people owning guns.

  • james.rossouw - 2012-08-24 17:16

    Hizzz Honour anti gun Bloomies must be fouling his bloomies. NYC has the toughest gun laws in the US and they are not working.

      smellarat.smith - 2012-08-24 17:32

      For all we know the gun was legitimately bought at a gun show in another state. Are you perhaps against background checking (including mental health) before selling a gun to an individual, and why would you be?

  • george.hatzikyriacos - 2012-08-24 17:51

    huh wtf??

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-08-24 17:59

    The U.S.A sure has a lot of very angry and eranged people! Its always been on my bucket list,though after this,Im not so sure!

  • raymond.lloyd.73 - 2012-08-24 18:00

    Why is there more violent crime where gun laws are stricter ? if I knew most people carried a firearm I would be wary of pulling out a firearm and shooting around , someone will shoot me !!

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