Transcript for Empire State Building Shooting Investigation
Meantime, back here, new details tonight about the gunman who killed his former coworker and then pulled out his gun near the empire state building. Police opening fire on him, bystanders hit in the crossfire. Here's abc's ron claiborne now. Reporter: A police search of the gunman's apartment turned up extra ammunition for the handgun he used to shoot a former coworker and literature about martial arts and sniper marksmanship. Also found, an envelope with his keys left for his landlord leading investigators to conclude that jeffrey johnson did not expect to return home. Surveillance video captured the dramatic moment friday when two police officers confronted jeffrey johnson. You can see johnson turn, raise his arm and point his .45 caliber semiautomatic at the officers. Four seconds later, the officers open fire. Did the police warn him, speak to him before? Yeah, he said, "stop, stop," and we heard the shooting. Reporter: Nine bystanders were wounded, none seriously, in the hail of gunfire. All were hit by police bullets or fragments of bullets. Johnson never got off a shot, police say. Well, the bullet went in and came out my right arm. I'm very, very lucky. Very blessed. Reporter: It's not that unusual for innocent bystanders to be hit by crossfire between police and a suspect. Even on a crowded street, police officers are trained to shoot, if they have a clear shot at someone they consider a threat. Essentially, it's a judgment call. If he has to be neutralized within a crowd, it is better to take him out than to risk him shooting the officers and other people in the immediate vicinity. Reporter: Inevitably, injured bystanders sue the police department or the city. Some win large judgments or settlements, but courts have tended to grant police latitude and immunity from liability when they can show the suspect they shot posed a threat. As police say johnson did on friday. And ron claiborne is here on the desk tonight. You looked at these cases before, bystanders filing civil suits after something like this. What have the courts told us before? Reporter: Some plaintiffs do win, but it's a tough standard. Let's look at a case in new york state. The state's highest court ruling in the case involving a young mother, the police shooting a suspect. They ended up saying the shooting was justify ied because the suspect was armed and had
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