Meet the Construction Worker Who Tipped Cops to Empire State Killer

By DNAinfo Staff on August 25, 2012 2:39pm  | Updated on August 25, 2012 2:57pm

By Joseph Parziale, Jill Colvin and Mathew Katz

DNAinfo.com New York

MIDTOWN — The eagle-eyed construction worker who tracked the disgruntled gunman outside the Empire State Building Friday morning and tipped off police, said his courageous act was just "instinct."

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."

Dillon's bravery was also hailed by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"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."

 

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