All nine people wounded in the shooting outside the Empire State Building on Friday were hit by police gunfire, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the New York Times reports. The pistol used by a disgruntled designer to kill a former co-worker nearby is among the more lethal handguns on the market, the Times says. Kelly said Jeffrey Johnson, 58, used a .45-cal. semiautomatic pistol with eight rounds. He bought it in Florida in 1991. He did not have a permit, so his possession of the gun was illegal in New York City.
The .45-caliber semiautomatic was standard in American armed forces for much of the 20th century. The gun reloads automatically after the trigger is pulled and a round is fired; it fires larger rounds than most handguns, making it difficult to handle, but powerful. “I can't think of a current gun law that would have banned the weapon that was used in this shooting,” said Daniel Webster of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research.