We begin with a moment of terror in the shadow of the empire state building a destination for nearly 4 million tourists every year. Police were targeting a suspect with a gun, bystanders ended up in... See More
We begin with a moment of terror in the shadow of the empire state building a destination for nearly 4 million tourists every year. Police were targeting a suspect with a gun, bystanders ended up in the cross fire, as eyewitnesses captured the chaos, the sidewalk transformed into a kind of battle zone. The shootout left two dead and nine of the bystanders wounded. R ron claiborne spent the day putting together what happened. Reporter: It was like something out of a movie, only this one all too real. The drama unfolding on the packed streets right outside of one of new york city's iconic landmarks. These images tweeted by eyewitnesses came sure the chaos and horror. It began shortly after 9:00 this morning when a gunman opened fire around the corper from the empire state building. The shooter walked to 5th avenue, follow build a construction worker. That worker alerted two flifrs on duty outside the empire state 3wi8ding and then, just steps from the tourist entrance, the bloody confrontation. As the two officers approached johnson, he pulled his .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol from his weapon and fired on the officers, who returned fire, killing him. Reporter: Witnesses describe a chaotic scene. I heard six or seven gunshots, very crisp, very loud. Reporter: Rapid succession? Rapid succession. Everybody heard the gun shots and started scattering. I saw a woman sitting up against the building with her foot, who had been shot. Reporter: Nine bystanders were wounded. At least some and possibly all of them were struck by police gun fire. We do know that the cops fired back. The tape clearly spokes the guy has the gun out, trying to kill the police officers. Rrl none of the injuries are considered life threatening. Just two weeks ago, police shot to death a knife-wielding man near times square, as horrified tourists watched and in some cases even videotaped it on their smart phone. New yorker police officer john shane says police are trained to shoot, even if bystanders might be at risk. If you have an active deadly threat, you have got to take action. Reporter: Even if there are hundreds of people in the background? Yes. Reporter: The shooter has been identified as 58-year-old jeffrey johnson, who was fired about a year ago at a local clothing store. The victim, steven ercolino. The two had a history of personal conflict, and diane, the police who killed johnson, they were standing eight feet away, just the same distance from me, the middle of this crosswalk. The two officers fired 16 bull lets into johnson.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.