Manhattan Shooting: Gunman Kills Guard Then Shoots Himself

In a bizarre shooting that took place in Lower Manhattan, a gunman opened fire at an armed security guard and then tried to enter the building, only to kill himself with his own weapon.

The suspect, identified later as 68-year-old Kevin Downing, walked into a federal building near the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan and shot at the security guard, severely wounding him. Thereafter, he went inside the building and killed himself.

Speaking about the shooting, a law enforcement official said, “The perp walks in the door, goes into the security line, pulls out a gun. The gunman opened fire at 5:05 p.m. and then walked farther into the building.”

The victim that Downing shot has been identified as 53-year-old Idrissa Camara, who worked as a private security guard inside the Manhattan building at 201 Varick Street. He was employed by FJC Security Services Inc. After Downing shot Camara, the latter went into cardiac arrest on the way to the Lenox Hill Hospital and breathed his last, said a hospital spokeswoman, reported the New York Times. Though he was armed, Camara couldn’t return fire to incapacitate Downing or save his life.

What’s bizarre is that after shooting the security guard, Downing, who is a military veteran from Fort Lee, continued to move further inside the building, where he encountered another official, said the chief of department for the New York Police Department, James O’Neill. But instead of exchanging fire with the official, Downing shot himself in the head and died on the spot, reported MSN.

Though the motive isn’t exactly clear, O’Neill said the investigation is currently ongoing, “At this point there is no indication of a nexus to terrorism.”

Preliminary investigations indicate Downing had claimed publicly that he was a one-time employee of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. He emphasized he was unjustifiably fired more than a decade ago, allegedly for criticizing the agency’s spending, said one of the officials investigating the case.

“Downing had been particularly critical of a decision by the agency to open a new office in New Jersey. Then he became one of these official whistle-blowers, saying he was reporting on government waste. He has this long-running thing.”

Officials further added that Downing doesn’t have any prior criminal record. The police are trying to figure out what caused the shooting in the Manhattan building and if there are any links between the gunman and the security guard he shot. While Downing shot the security guard with a .38 revolver, he was also carrying a second revolver.

[Image Credit | Spencer Platt / Getty Images]