Posted: Monday, August 27th 2012 at 3:39pm
More details surface about GHS grad accused in Empire State shooting
By B.J. Williams, Katie Crumley
GAINESVILLE - Authorities have confirmed that Jeffrey T. Johnson, the man responsible for last week's deadly shooting at the Empire State Building, once lived in Gainesville.
Gainesville Police said that they were responsible for notifying next of kin, but they declined to comment further on the case.
Johnson's body is to be returned to Gainesville for funeral services.
According to media reports out of New York City, the 58-year-old Johnson had worked as a designer of women’s accessories at Hazan Imports. He was was laid off during a downsizing at the company, which allegedly prompted him to return to the workplace Friday. He shot and killed his former colleague Steve Ercolino and walked away.
Johnson was shot and killed by police responding to the scene.
The shooter and his victim reportedly had had a history of workplace squabbles before Johnson was fired from Hazan.
Nine other people were also shot during the melee, but authorities said those wounds were inflicted by gunfire from two officers' weapons.
According to Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer, Johnson was a 1971 graduate of Gainesville High School.
She said he participated in Intramural Athletics, Pep Club and was the Assistant Art Editor for the school newspaper, the “Trumpeter.”
"The enrollment of Gainesville High School in 1971 was approximately 900 students; therefore, most of the students there at this time knew one another," said Dyer.
She said school officials have heard that Johnson served in the United States Navy after high school, but she said the school system has no indication of active alumni status or of social contacts from his high school years.
"The Gainesville community, like many, are shocked and saddened at this incident," said Dyer.
Check back for details on this developing story.
Link: Link to NY Times story on shooting
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