Police are investigating a mass shooting outside the Empire State Building in New York, with reports of two dead and nine injured.
Officials confirmed one of the dead is the gunman 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, and the other person killed is believed to have been linked to a "workplace dispute."
Police confirmed two deaths at the scene with nine injured, who have been taken to a number of hospitals in the city.
The city's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, appeared before media on the New York streets to praise the work of the emergency services as well as civilians who aided them.
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"New York City is the safest city in the country," Bloomberg said. "But we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence."
Ray Kelly, the NYPD commissioner, addressed the crowd after Bloomberg, confirming the 53-year-old man had pulled a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol on police officers, who returned fire killing him.
Kelly added that the man was fired one year previously from a job as a women's accessories designer at a company named Hazan.
The shooting happened at 34th Street and 5th Avenue, as people hurried to work in the morning rush hour.
A picture posted on Twitter from the scene outside the Empire State Building in New York
A fire department spokesman says it received a call about the shooting just after 9am on Friday and that emergency units were on the scene within minutes, according to AP.
Several news outlets were reporting that the incident related to a "workplace dispute" and officials said it did not appear to be terrorist-related.
A guard at the landmark said the shooting was not close to any parts of the building near where tourists queue to visit the top of the Empire State building.
Sid Dinsay, 38, who works in a PR firm on Fifth Avenue, told the New York Post: “This is the last thing you are expecting to see walking to work – someone shot dead in broad daylight in Midtown.
“I am shocked – something like this is enough to rattle your nerves. My nerves are rattled right now.”
Construction worker Chris Ogden told the New York Daily News the gunman wore a grey suit and carried a briefcase.
The location of the shooting on Friday morning
“He shot the guy in the head. The guy went down. He took a second shot when he was down.”
The well-dressed shooter then “walked down the block, like nothing was happening, real casual. We were screaming from the top, ‘It’s the guy in the grey suit!’”
Reuters reported Mail courier James Bolden, 31, as saying he saw a "guy laying on the (sidewalk), bleeding from the neck and barely breathing."
"Everybody was crowded around him taking pictures and video, and security guys were yelling everybody to get back, and give him space. He was barely breathing."
Those at the scene posted photographs on Twitter, and expressed shock at the incident, warning people against going to the area.
Aliyah Imam told Fox 5 News that she was standing at a red light when a woman standing next to her fell to the ground. She says the woman was hit in the hip and the gunman was "shooting indiscriminately at people."
Police closed roads all around the incident, causing traffic chaos for blocks around the city.
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