NYPD Wound Nine In Empire State Building Shooting

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By: / August 27, 2012

The initial chaos Friday left many confused as to who shot who.

After a dramatic confrontation ended between police and a gunman occurred outside the Empire State Building on Friday, nine people were wounded in the process by the NYPD. Two veteran patrolmen, Officer Craig Matthews and Officer Robert Sinishtaj, opened fire on the suit-wearing gunman, Jeffrey Johnson, and 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.

Matthews shot seven times, while Sinishtaj fired nine times, according to NYPD. Neither officer had ever fired their weapons before on a patrol.

In a matter of moments, the gunfire felled Johnson and left nine other civilians bleeding on the sidewalk. Based on ballistics and other evidence, NYPD reported that “it appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police.” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reiterated that the officers had no choice but to shoot Johnson, whose body had 10 bullet wounds in the chest, arms and legs.

Security videotape from the scene shows several civilians — including three who were sitting on a bench only a few feet away from the violence — scattering quickly as the officers opened fire.

Police have determined that three people were struck by whole bullets, two of which were removed from victims at the hospital, and the rest were grazed “by fragments of some sort,” Kelly said.

Three people remained hospitalized, all in stable condition.

What is left to be seen is the fallout response to how the NYPD will compensate the victims for their accidental shooting?

Props: ABC News