Bystanders Wounded at Empire State Building Were Actually Shot by Cops

empire state buildingWell, details are emerging about the Empire State Building shooting, and, as they often do with horrific crimes like this, they're only getting more depressing. Raymond W. Kelly, the New York City Police Commissioner, confirmed on Saturday that all nine people who were wounded in Friday's shootings were so by police bullets, bullet fragments, or shrapnel from ricochets. Jeffrey T. Johnson, the gunman, was not -- at least, directly -- responsible for injuring these bystanders. In fact, Kelly also confirmed that Johnson didn't fire another shot after killing a former co-worker of his, Steven Ercolino, moments before.

Yikes. Kind of makes you question police protocol.


Just two weeks earlier, New York City police officers killed a man wielding a knife after firing a series of shots at a him near Times Square. No bystanders were hit, but people began wondering if the shooting was necessary. After all, the scuffle began with the man getting caught smoking marijuana. Apparently, cops tried to futilely stop the man, who repeatedly threatened officers with a knife, with pepper spray six times.

Every time a terrible crime -- like a mass shooting -- happens, it seems like there's always a litany of questions and skepticism regarding law enforcement protocol afterwards. And there should be -- it's good to question things in order to ensure future occurrences will run as safely as possible. But also, I assume, there isn't always a "perfect" way for things like this to go down. I certainly don't wish harm on anyone innocent, but sometimes, better safe than sorry, right?

In the situation of the Empire State Building shooting, though, it definitely sounds like less people could have walked away unharmed. As Mr. Kelly said: "We had a witness that said that Johnson fired at the police. But the final count of the shells, it appears that that is not the case." Hopefully next time, since questions were raised, things will be even safer. Or better yet, hopefully there won't be a next time.

What do you think of this?


Image via Swami Stream/Flickr

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