53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson has been identified as the gunman who opened fire at the Empire State Building this morning, shooting nine people and killing his former co-worker before being killed himself by police.
Steve Ercolino has been identified as the former co-worker shot and killed by Johnson. Ercolino has been the Vice President of Sales at Hazan Import Corp. since December 2005.
Ercolino graduated from the State University of New York College at Oneonta in 1988 and received his Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business/Fashion.
Talking to the Wall Street Journal, a woman named Andrea, who said she was Ercolino's sister-in-law said, "He was an incredible family man, loved his family." Ercolino did not have children, she said, but was the "best uncle to my children." She described him as generous, fun loving and compassionate, and said he loved his work selling handbags.
"He had an incredible life ahead of him," she said.
After Johnson shot Ercolino over an as-yet-unknown work-related dispute, a construction worker followed him, then spoke to police nearby.
When confronted by police, Johnson turned his .45-caliber pistol on officers and they returned fire. Johnson was shot and killed by police in the ensuing melee. Nine other innocent bystanders were injured, however only Ercolino and Johnson were killed.