NEW YORK — Three people died Monday morning in a shooting incident at 1440 Broadway, in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion district.
All three were employees of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, a non-fashion tenant of the building.
In a news conference in front of the building, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said that 911 operators around 8:24 a.m. received a barrage of phone calls reporting that shots had been fired on the 11th floor of the building, which also houses some employees of Liz Claiborne Inc. and Federated Department Stores Inc.
When police arrived, he said, "there were three bodies in the room and all appeared to have expired."
"Emergency services conducted a floor-by-floor search of the building, purely as a precautionary measure," he said.
The dead were John Harris, 53, Vincent LaBianca, 34, and Isabella Muñoz, 36, according to a police spokesman. Three guns and numerous shell casings were found in the 15 by 15 foot office.
A source said the guns were believed to belong to Harris, a vice president at the firm, who is believed to have shot his two co-workers and then himself.
When police SWAT teams and canine units arrived at the 25-story building, they initially sealed it. People outside the building who said they worked there reported that some workers were evacuated from the building, though police and tenants said that others were allowed to stay inside.
No other tenants were allowed in the building until around noon.
Richard Restrepo, an electrical contractor who was working on the ninth floor of the building at the time of the incident, said he did not hear the gunshots.
"I heard sirens and looked out on the street. There were all these cop cars," he said. "At first, we though it was a bomb scare."
He said he went down to the lobby of the building, where he waited for about a half an hour before leaving.
Andrew Boyce, a computer consultant working for Blue Cross Blue Shield, said he had heard the shots and fled to the lobby."We just had the anniversary of 9/11, so obviously this is very upsetting," he said.
The insurance firm had moved into the Broadway building, on the east side of the street between West 40th and 41st Streets, after last year’s terrorist attacks.
A Liz Claiborne spokeswoman said the company had about 200 employees, from its human resources, accessories and Liz Claiborne Foundation operations in the building.
"The people who were let in stayed," she said. "We’re just cooperating with the police."
A call to Federated was not returned by press time.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty