Meet the Construction Worker Who Tipped Cops to Empire State Killer
By Kiratiana Freelon on August 25, 2012 2:39pm |
By Joseph Parziale, Jill Colvin and Mathew Katz
DNAinfo.com New York
Brian Dillon, a subcontractor who works for Skanska construction, was on the job Friday morning, running the construction loading dock on the West 33rd Street side of the Empire State Building, when he witnessed Jeffrey Johnson, 58, shoot Steven Ercolino at close range.
"I was mirroring him in the construction containment area," Dillon told DNA info.com New York. "He made a left [onto Fifth Avenue] and I followed him on the sidewalk."
That's when Dillon saw officers Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj on foot patrol.
"I screamed at them to get the guy in the gray suit," Dillon said. "They looked at me like I was crazy.
"But I just kept screaming at them, 'Get the guy in the gray suit! Get the guy in the gray suit! He just killed somebody!"
Dillon said he saw Johnson turn around and pull out a gun.
"I heard shots and I started running," he said.
The cops fired 16 shots at Johnson, killing him and wounding nine bystanders.
Dillon's selfless act was hailed by co-workers and officials.
“He's a goddamned hero,” said friend and fellow construction worker Chris Ogden, 23, who also witnessed the scene. “Brian, he’s that kind of guy. He went out and followed the shooter. He’s brave. He told the cops."
"He did what he should have done, he saw something and said something to the police," Bloomberg said.
But Dillon makes no claim to heroism.
"It was just kind of instinct," he said Saturday outside his home in Westchester County.
DIllon decried the violence that put him into the spotlight.
"People can't just go around killing each other because they don't like each other. And when they do, they should be held accountable," Dillon said. "That gentleman [Johnson] was held accountable."