Some sobering breaking news out of Manhattan this morning: a gunman opened fire outside the Empire State Building, wounding ten and killing at least two people, the gunman included. Apparently, it was a case of workplace violence. The New York Post reports:
A dispute between coworkers exploded into gunfire outside the Empire State Building this morning, leaving at least two dead including the gunman and an innocent bystander -- and a total of 10 people shot, sources said.
Responding cops killed the gunman shortly after 9 a.m. at the jam-packed intersection of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue.
It's unclear what sparked the deadly argument, which happened in the heart of the morning rush on a street loaded with commuters and tourists.
The shot bystanders include a female who died from her wounds, the sources said.
Others were shot in the buttocks and legs.
We'll bring you updates as we have them.
UPDATE: A couple of tweets offer some clarification of the situation. Apparently, the NYPD won't confirm that more than 10 have been shot, as of a tweet from 10:04AM. Mayor Bloomberg will be giving a statement soon as well, and we'll have more details on that as it happens.
UPDATE II: Fox News is currently reporting that the shooter was a designer of ladies handbags, who had been fired yesterday, and that he shot his manager in the head, although this is unconfirmed by other sources as yet. Additionally, the number of those shot has varied, with some sources saying 8, others 9, and the above story from the New York Post 10. AP reports that the shooter worked at a store in the building. Additionally, says AP, there is no connection to terrorism and it did not occur in any tourist-friendly areas.
UPDATE III: Michael Bloomberg is now giving a press conference, which you can watch live below, courtesy of WSJ.
Some new information from the press conference:
-Perpetrator was a former employee of Hazan Imports, and was apparently laid off a year ago during company downsizing
-The two dead are the 53-year-old suspect and his 41-year-old victim; police won't release their identities until their families have been notified
-9 others have been shot besides the two dead, but all of them are highly likely to survive, having merely been grazed by bullets
-This had nothing to do with terrorism