A shooting at the Empire State Building this morning resulted in two deaths and nine wounded at least count.
Police reportedly shot and killed the suspect, 53-year-old Jeffrey Johnson.
Authorities believe that Johnson was a former disgruntled employee at Hazan Imports, near the Empire State Building, and had returned to the company to collect money he believed he was owed, reports The Associated Press.
Johnson was laid off from Hazan Imports six months ago and when he returned to the office, he reportedly shot and killed one former co-worker, reports the AP. It's not clear if the other victims were also former co-workers or if they just happened to be near the shooting.
Immediately following the shooting, there had been concerns that the Empire State Building shooting was related to terrorism. This is natural given what happened at Manhattan's other notable skyscraper, the World Trade Center. However, the FBI ruled out links to terrorism, and it appears that this shooting was a case of workplace violence.
With the bad economy and more and more employees being laid off, many workers have come to blame their former employers for their misfortunes. As a result, employers must be aware of potential acts of workplace violence and possibly take preventative steps.
Perhaps the most critical preventative step is the termination itself. Employers should handle the termination with care and sensitivity and make sure to respect the terminated employee's legal rights such as their rights to any unpaid pay or vacation benefits.
It's not clear what money Jeffrey Johnson wanted from his former employer and if he was actually entitled to the money. It's also not clear how Hazen Imports handled Johnson's termination. But regardless of the circumstances, there is nothing that would justify Johnson's alleged acts.
As you can tell from recent mass shooting like the Colorado movie theater shooting, logic and reasoning cannot explain why shooters act the way they do. So we can only speculate as to whether any steps could have been taken to prevent the Empire State Building shooting.
- Gunman shoots former co-worker near Empire State Building, is shot by police (The Washington Post)
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