All nine people wounded during a dramatic confrontation between police and a gunman outside the Empire State Building were struck by bullets fired by the two officers, police said Saturday, citing ballistics evidence.
The veteran patrolmen who opened fire on the suit-wearing gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, had only an instant to react when he whirled and pointed a .45-caliber pistol as they approached him from behind on a busy sidewalk.
Officer Craig Matthews shot seven times. Officer Robert Sinishtaj fired nine times, police said. Neither had ever fired their weapons before on a patrol.
The volley of gunfire felled Johnson in just a few seconds and left nine other people bleeding on the sidewalk.
In the initial chaos Friday, it wasn’t clear whether Johnson or the officers were responsible for the trail of wounded, but based on ballistic and other evidence, “it appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told reporters on Saturday at a community event in Harlem.
At Reason, Tim Cavanaugh points out that the murderer, Johnson, had put away his gun after murdering Ercolino, and had been followed by a construction worker who alerted police; the whole time the construction worker tailed him, his gun was put away in a bag. Why couldn’t police have taken him down without firing their guns on him sixteen times? No-one else was in immediate danger, because this wasn’t a mass shooting incident; this was one guy cold-bloodedly killing a former co-worker he had a grudge against, then walking away from the scene with his gun put away. No need for theatrics. Why not turn up at his home, later on? Or follow him to somewhere away from people?
Incompetent and uncaring idiots; “Who cares how many bystanders suffer, as long as we get our perp!” seems to be their code. Like that more of a gang, than what one would expect of those sworn to ‘serve and protect’; they sure as hell didn’t protect the innocent bystanders they wounded!
*More in the comments, another link.