New York City Hall Gunfire

Police sources say the gunman who opened fire inside New York City Hall today, killing a councilman, was a political opponent of the councilman.

A city official says Brooklyn Councilman James Davis died after being shot twice in the chest. A police source says the gunman, Othniel Askew, died a short time later at a hospital. The two mortally wounded men were found lying side by side in the balcony overlooking the City Council chambers.

Police sources say the killer was sitting in the balcony near Davis when he suddenly shot the councilman. A security officer who was on the floor of the chamber shot up at the gunman, striking him five times, according to the sources.

At least a dozen shots echoed across the second floor of City Hall, sending people diving for cover beneath their desks as the rotunda filled with screams.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)