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Cops’ gunfire wounded bystanders in Empire State shootout

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"But we are not immune to the national problem of gun violence," he said of the shooting, following mass shootings at a Colorado movie theater and a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

The nine people wounded outside the Empire State Building were all from New York City, except for a woman from Chapel Hill, N.C. They suffered graze wounds or other minor injuries.

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Metal detectors and bag searchers have been standard at the Empire State Building since 1997, when a gunman opened fire on the 86th-floor observation deck, killing one tourist and wounding six others before fatally shooting himself.

The skyscraper remained open Friday throughout the mayhem, although its workers became witnesses.

"We were just working here and we just heard bang, bang, bang!" said Mohammed Bachchu, a worker at a nearby souvenir shop.

He said he rushed from the building and saw seven people lying on the ground, covered in blood.

Rebecca Fox said she saw people running down the street and initially thought it was a celebrity sighting, but then she saw a woman shot in the foot and a man dead on the ground.

"I was scared and shocked and literally shaking," she said. "It was like ‘CSI,’ but it was real."


Contributing to this report from New York were Alex Katz, Samantha Gross, Julie Walker, David B. Caruso, Adam Geller, Karen Matthews, Ula Ilnytzky, Anne D’Innocenzio and Meghan Barr.

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