Video Shows Police Shootout With Empire State Building Shooter

I’d seen this story the other day but chalked it up as a tragic “heat of the moment” accident.

New York (CNN) — On a busy Friday morning in Manhattan, nine pedestrians suffered bullet or fragment wounds after police unleashed a hail of gunfire at a man wielding a .45 caliber pistol who had just killed a former co-worker.

The officers unloaded 16 rounds in the shadow of the Empire State Building at a disgruntled former apparel designer, killing him after he engaged in a gunbattle with police, authorities said.

Three passersby sustained direct gunshot wounds, while the remaining six were hit by fragments, according to New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. All injuries were caused by police, he said Saturday.

One officer shot nine rounds and another shot seven.

Police identified the gunman as Jeffrey Johnson, 58, who was apparently laid off from his job as a designer of women’s accessories at Hazan Import Co. last year.

Now there’s video of the shooting to go with the story. It’s not anything like I imagined.

At close range the fact that the two officers manage to miss their target so many times is concerning. Bullets must have been literally flying everywhere. The suspect and officers couldn’t have been any more than ten feet apart once the officers opened fire, but of the sixteen shots they took more went into bystanders (or hit near enough to them that they sustained injuries) than went into the suspect.

Not to take anything away from the valiant efforts of the officers (who were in a potentially life threatening situation), but that kind of shooting performance is concerning, especially in light of the fact that Johnson never fired a shot.

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