NYPD: We hit bystanders in Empire State Building shooting

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, August 25, 2012 21:31 EDT
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The New York City Police Department confirmed Saturday that two officers were responsible for wounding nine people in the process of taking down the presumed shooter outside the Empire State Building one day ago.

According to WNBC-TV, the two officers, Robert Sinishtaj and Craig Matthews, fired a combined 16 times at 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson after Johnson pointed a .45-caliber pistol on them as they approached him. Neither had ever fired their weapon on patrol during their respective 15-year careers.

The nine bystanders were “struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said Saturday.

Johnson died at the scene. Police were chasing him after he shot and killed Steve Ercolino, a former co-worker. Authorities said Johnson hid behind a car and ambushed Ercolino as he arrived for work, shooting him five times.

Security footage released by the NYPD shows the two officers catching up to Johnson, who pulls a gun out of a briefcase, at which point Matthews and Sinishtaj, as bystanders scatter.

Three of the victims were still hospitalized as of Saturday night and are in good condition.

WNBC’s report, aired Saturday, can be seen below.

View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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