New York: Two people including the gunman were killed and nine others were injured outside the iconic Empire State Building here on Friday in multiple shootings.
The shooting unfolded at about 9 am (local time), at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, just beside the city`s iconic skyscraper and also known as a massive tourist attraction.
The gunman has been identified as Jeffrey Johnson, 53, who had worked as a designer of women`s accessories at apparel firm Hazan Imports for six years. He was laid off from his job a year ago when the company underwent downsizing.
"This is a terrible tragedy and there is no doubt the situation could have been more tragic but for the acts of heroism by the police officers," New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was at the scene of the shooting, told reporters.
"New York city is the safest big city in the US but we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence," he said.
Bloomberg sought to assure New Yorkers that the incident "has nothing to do with terrorism and is a murder case".
The entire area has been cordoned off by police.
The situation is currently under control, New York police said.
The incident comes even as the country is recovering from a shooting massacre at a theatre in Aurora, Colorado where a gunman opened fire during a screening of the batman movie `the Dark Knight Rises` killing 12 people and injuring over 50.
Earlier this month, a gunman named Michael Wade Page had fired indiscriminately in a gurudwara in Wisconsin killing six members of the Sikh community and seriously wounding three others.