MIDTOWN MANHATTAN (PIX11)—Steve Ercolino, 41, the man who police say was shot by Jeffrey Johnson near the Empire State Building, was a high-ranking executive who had a long-standing dispute with Johnson, 56, the man who detectives call his killer.
As a vice president at Hazan Import Corporation, Ercolino oversaw Johnson, who had been let go from the company a year ago. The company is located at 10 West 33rd Street, on the seventh floor, across the street from the Empire State Building. Hazan has fifty to a hundred employees, one of whom used to be Jeffrey Johnson.
Detectives Johnson followed Ercolino on the sidewalk in front of the company's headquarters, where then the former employee shot his former boss, according to investigators. Johnson then walked around the corner to Fifth Avenue, where, just north of the main entrance to the Empire State Building, he encountered cops, who shot him after he pointed his 45-caliber pistol at them.
Meanwhile, passersby attended to Ercolino as he bled on the sidewalk on 33rd Street, but since the import business executive had taken multiple gunshots to the head at point blank range, there was simply nothing anyone could do for him. Steve Ercolino's family has been in touch with PIX11 News, and chose not to make a statement while they're in mourning.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told PIX11 News that over the year since Johnson was dismissed by Ercolino's company, both men were known to authorities regarding a dispute involving harassment. This shooting, detectives said, is likely related to that dispute.