crimesider

Wake set for Empire State Building shooting victim Steven Ercolino

Shooting victim Steve Ercolino CBS New York/Personal photo

Shooting victim Steve Ercolino
CBS New York/Personal photo

(CBS) NEW YORK - A wake will take place Monday for Steven Ercolino, the man who police said was shot and killed by former co-worker Jeffrey Johnson near the Empire State Building, CBS New York reports.

Pictures: Shooting near Empire State Building

Police said Johnson, 58, shot Ercolino, 41, in the head outside his workplace on Friday morning.

Construction worker Brian Dillon said he witnessed the close-range execution and then chased the alleged gunman as he tried to get away.

"I followed the man and he made the left up Fifth Avenue and I knew there was a police detail there," he said.

Surveillance video shows Dillon flagging down two officers and pointing to Johnson, who was wearing a gray suit and trying to blend in with the rush hour crowd. The video then shows Johnson turning his gun on police. Police fired 14 times, killing Johnson before he could get off a single shot.

"I ran for cover by the police car, I don't know it happened so fast, you just act," Dillon said.

Nine bystanders were hit by fragments or bullets fired by police. But security expert Louis Palumbo said the officers' quick actions likely saved more lives, calling it "procedurally perfect."

"You know these police officers have to deal with the fact that they took a human being's life and they've got to deal additionally with the fact that they injured innocent people," said Palumbo.

A shooting review board and grand jury will investigate the officers' actions.

Meanwhile, detectives have sealed off Johnson's Upper East Side apartment, continuing their investigation and searching for clues until further notice.

Family and friends of Ercolino are preparing for a mid-week funeral, which begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in White Plains.

"I'm in shock, it's just senseless," said the victim's brother, Paul Ercolino. "It's just a very difficult time for the family here."

Complete coverage of the shooting near the Empire State Building on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.