Warning: Graphic Images Included
MIDTOWN — Moments after Jeffrey Johnson allegedly shot 11 people early Friday morning outside the Empire State Building, killing one before being shot dead by police, news spread like wildfire via social media.
People tweeted and posted to Instagram photos of people lying in the street bleeding and of police responding to the scene. Others tweeted alerts to their followers.
"Shooting outside the Empire State Building. Several injured. Very scary. Watching the chaos from three floors up. Stay out of midtown kids," warned Max D. Kaplan on Twitter.
Others wrote about the terror they experienced coming upon the scene after arriving at work.
"There is a man with a bullet in his head in front of my building at 10w 33rd.," posted Reddit user CatfishRadiator, describing seeing shooting victim Steve Ercolino, 41, who was killed by Johnson.
"His blood had just reached the gutters when I arrived. I looked at his corpse for about 1 second and felt all the hair on my body rise — it is the first corpse I have ever seen as a result of violence."
Commuters also posted about their experiences.
"I was on the bus right there when it happened. At least four people got shot. Two on the northwest side of the street, one empire state building ticket guy in the middle of the crosswalk, and someone on the southwest corner. That was terrifying," wrote titan413 located in Hell's Kitchen.
"I was on the East River Ferry shuttle bus when it happened; sounded like firecrackers to me but then people were running and I knew something was wrong," wrote joeycastillo.
Some took the shooting as an opportunity to voice their views on gun control.
"Can we talk less about links to terrorism and more about gun control? #ESB," tweeted @conz Friday afternoon.
Others posted prayers and thoughts for the victims of the shooting.
"Through love comes compassion and appreciation of life. Prayers for those who perished at Empire State Building today," wrote Jerry George on Facebook.