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Jeffrey Johnson, accused of fatal shooting in NYC, was reportedly a "sweet," friendless, cat loving loner.
Jeffrey Johnson was reportedly a "sweet," friendless, cat loving loner who bought McDonald's every morning until the day he took the streets of New York City with a handgun apparently bent on revenge.
The former fashion worker, 58, on Friday interrupted his routine to allegedly murder ex-colleague Steven Ercolino in broad daylight before himself being shot to death by police outside the Empire State Building.
Predictably, the nation's media has been asking, "who was Jeffrey Johnson?"
According to New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, cited by NBC, Johnson worked for Hazan Import Corp. as a designer of women’s accessories for six years before losing his job about a year ago when the company downsized.
Ercolino was a sales manager at Hazan, and NBC New York cited a police report as saying that in 2011, while riding in an elevator together, Johnson told Ercolino, "I am going to kill you."
NBC New York also reported that Johnson had no criminal record and that the .45 caliber handgun he used at 10 W. 33rd St. was purchased in Florida in 1991. He was not licensed to carry a firearm in New York City.
A cached version of Johnson’s LinkedIn page indicated that Johnson was an artist and illustrator who attended Ringling School of Art & Design.
He owned a T-shirt design company called St. Jolly T-Shirt Co. whose website shows designs for iron-on transfers, mainly cars, jets and motorcycles.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson also was member of a community of bird watchers who photographed wildlife in Central Park, near his small apartment on the Upper East Side.
The AP cited his email to another bird watcher as describing "tenderly" a winter night watching ducks.
"Near midnight by the Harlem Meer I watched a little 'flotilla' of Mallards swimming and softly honking ... fifteen degree temp and they were carrying on unfazed. Just remarkable," he wrote.
"He was the sweetest guy," The New York Daily News quoted neighbor Gisela Casella, 71, as saying. "I thought he went to work every day."
"I don’t think he has any friends," his building superintendent Guillermo Suarez, 72, reportedly said. "I've never seen anybody… He is a very mellow guy."
Suarez told The New York Times that Johnson would go out to a local McDonald's every morning and come back with a bag.
He then would often stay home for the rest of the day, visited only occasionally — and only by his mother.
More from GlobalPost: Empire State Building shooting leaves 2 dead, 8 injured