The New York Post is reporting that the Empire State Building gunman blamed his victim, Steven Ercolino, for his financial troubles but the “final straw,” according to police, was when he learned he was being evicted from his apartment in the Upper East Side.
“This was the final straw that pushed him over the edge,” a police source said yesterday. “He was blaming the victim for being out of work, having no money and now having no apartment.”
The dispute between the shooter, Jeffery Johnson, and his victim went back well before Johnson was laid off. According to the post, both men had filed complaints against each other for violence and threats in the workplace.
Even before his layoff, Johnson and Ercolino were already on poor terms.
“Johnson filed a complaint against Ercolino saying he had a confrontation with him in the lobby of the building,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.
“Ercolino filed a complaint saying he was threatened by Johnson and he possibly threatened to kill him.”
His breaking point came when his landlord threatened the man with eviction.
On the day of the shooting, Johnson waited outside for Ercolino to arrive to work where he ambushed him. Ercolino was shot five times.