A disgruntled employee returned to his former workplace and fatally shot his ex-boss three times in the head, sparking early-morning chaos and multiple other injuries near the Empire State Building.
But Jeffrey Johnson, 53, was scuppered in his plans to escape after a construction worker saw the killing, chased him down the street and alerted police, who shot the gunman dead.
In the rush-hour ruckus, nine passersby were injured, including four who suffered gunshot wounds. Two people - the gunman and his former boss - were killed.
The deadly dispute horrified tourists and workers swarming the area around 34th street and Fifth Avenue which, at the height of summer, is experiencing its busiest few weeks.
'We heard these gunshots, it sounded like fireworks. So, we both got up and went to the window and looked down,' Ms. Greenwood,30, told the WSJ.
A Reddit user under the name of Titan413, said they were on a bus when they witnessed the shooting.
'At least four people got shot,' they wrote. '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.
'At first I thought it was a truck going over one of those metal plates in the street, but then everyone on the bus got on the floor and people on the street started running.'
Helicopter footage apparently showed the gunman lying on a stretcher in handcuffs, before officers placed a white sheet over his body.
Victim: A man lies on the ground outside the Empire State Building after being shot by a gunman shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday morning. Two people, including the gunman, died in the incident
Chaos: Four people were shot by the gunman. Here police stand by a body covered by a sheet
Gunned down: A white sheet covers a body, believed to be the gunman's after he was shot dead outside the Empire State Building by police officers. Passersby were injured in the crossfire
Investigation: An NYPD officer looks through the pants on a body that is lying on 5th Avenue
Concerns: Seven men and two women were rushed to hospital after sustaining shot wounds or grazing
Looking on: The shooting took place in the heart of the city, in an area teeming with tourists and workers
Route: The gunman ran a block north but was chased by a construction worker who alerted police
Killed: The gunman and his 41-year-old former manager were killed, but police think the other victims will survive
Down: An image shows a victim lying on the ground. All the victims have been rushed to hospital
Gunned down: A man, who some reports have identified as the shooter, lies on the ground after being shot
Dispute: Early reports suggested the gunfire was a result of a dispute between coworkers