Thu March 14, 2013
Shooting Suspect: No Motive and a Loner
Update: 11:00 a.m. State and local police and FBI just completed a press conference at the Herkimer Court House. Police still have no motive for yesterday's shooting rampage in Herkimer that left four people dead and two injured.
The gunman, 64-year old Kurt Myers, was shot and killed by police this morning after a standoff that began yesterday afternoon. Myers had been holed up in an abandoned building in Herkimer.
He was fatally shot after he shot and killed a police dog sent into the building shortly before 8 this morning by a police tactical unit. Authorities say the was holed up in a small, cluttered room in an abandoned bar when he died in a shootout with police SWAT teams.
State police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico says Myers fired through a first-floor door after troopers and FBI agents entered around 8 a.m. Thursday, killing an FBI dog sent into the room. Police say Myers had only one previous contact with law enforcement, for an arrest 40 years ago for DWI.
Update: 9:05 a.m. State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico, representatives from the FBI and for the Herkimer and Mohawk Police Departments will hold a news conference at 10 a.m. to give updates about Wednesday's shootings in the villages of Mohawk and Herkimer and Thursday's killing of suspect Kurt Myers by police SWAT teams.
Update: 8: 22 a.m. AP has confirmed that Kurt Myers was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with FBI agents and New York state police. A press conference is expected to be held shortly.
Shortly after Governor Cuomo issued this statement:
"This morning law enforcement officials entered the building and, after being fired upon, shot and killed the suspect, Kurt Myers. There were no injuries to law enforcement officials, though an FBI police dog was fatally shot. We commend the courage and extraordinary efforts of the state police, the FBI, and local law enforcement officials in finding the suspect and ending this horrific spree of violence and bloodshed. It is now time for mourning those who we lost in this senseless act of violence. In the darkest of times, the bravery, kindness, and the spirit of community of New Yorkers shines the brightest, and that is what we saw yesterday in Herkimer and Mohawk as the community came together during this difficult time. The thoughts and prayers of my family and of all New Yorkers are with the friends and loved ones of the victims."
Update: 7:45 a.m. More information is coming out about the six men shot by a gunman who opened fire inside two businesses in neighboring upstate New York villages.
Among the four killed Wednesday morning are a veteran prison guard, a retired correction officer and a car care worker who played guitar at his local church. The suspected gunman, 64-year-old Kurt Myers, remains holed up in an abandoned building in the village of Herkimer. Police are keeping vigilant watch there Thursday morning, periodically blaring sirens in an apparent attempt to encourage Myers to surrender, if alive. Police say Myers' rampage started with a fire in his apartment in the nearby village of Mohawk. He then drove to a barbershop used a shotgun to kill two customers and wound two others. At a car care shop about a mile away, he killed two more.
Update: 5:30 a.m. Media reporting from the barricade, including AP, report that the police operation is focused on an apartment above an abandoned bar, and that police believe the suspect is still alive.
Update: Thursday 5:00 a.m. The Utica OD reports that loud noises, a PA system and alarms have been heard at the location, an abandoned building on 248 Nth. Main St., Herkimer where police believe the suspect Kurt Myers remained overnight. Local media reported flash bangs and sirens and a robot was sent into the building.
Update: 7:00 p.m. Police remain in an apparent standoff with the suspect in today's multiple shootings.
WIBX950AM radio reported that arc lighting had been put in place at the site around the property on North Main Street in Herkimer. Police tactical forces including sharpshooters have been through shift changes as night begins to fall and temperatures drop with a forecast for light snow tonight.
A number of adjoining businesses and residences will also be disrupted by the current operation.
Police officers were fired on from the upstate New York building on Wednesday afternoon while looking for 64-year-old Kurt Myers, state police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said. At least one officer returned fire, and later it was unknown if Myers was still alive, D'Amico said.
"We're in no rush to bring this to a conclusion," D'Amico said, adding that the main objective was to make sure no one else was hurt.
Update 5:23 p.m.: New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico gave a rundown of the shootings that occurred in Herkimer and Mohawk on Wednesday morning. Six people were shot, four fatally, that and the suspected gunman is surrounded by police.
At 9:30 a.m., a report of a fire at 32 S. Washington Street in Mohawk which police believe Myers started. Shortly after that, Myers drove to John's Barber Shop on Main Street in Mohawk, where he "had words" with people in the shop, and then shot four people, killing two: Harry Montgomery, 68, and Michael Rancier, 57.
Myers then drove his maroon Jeep to Herkimer, stopping at Gaffy's Jiffy Lube. There he entered with a shot gun and fatally shot two customers, Thomas Stefka, who was in his 60s and Michael Renshaw, who was in his 40s.
Myers then fled in his vehicle, but abandoned it before taking shelter in an abandoned building on North Main Street in Herkimer. There, D'Amico says, shot were fired by Myers and police "may have returned fire".
Police then started what D'Amico called, a "methodical search" which is still continuing.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who flew in and was present with law enforcement on North Main Street during the stand-off. "The day is not done until Mr. Myers is apprehended," Cuomo said.
Police don't have a motive for the shooting, and are unsure if Myers is still alive in the building. Myers only arrest was a DWI charge in 1973.
Update from AP 4:40 p.m.:
SWAT teams have moved in on a row of shops in upstate New York where they believe a gunman who killed four people and wounded two others may be hiding.
A black armored vehicle and a track-driven robot with a camera on top rolled up in front of Glory Days Food and Spirits in the village of Herkimer on Wednesday afternoon as officers surrounded blocks of shops topped with apartments.
They're looking for Kurt Myers, suspected of shooting four people in his hometown, nearby Mohawk, and killing two others in Herkimer earlier in the day.
Myles Smith, who lives nearby, tells The Associated Press by cellphone he's heard police trying to talk Myers into coming out of another building. He says there are snipers on the roof.
Update 4:03 p.m.: Schools are still in lockdown, but parents are allowed to pick-up kids at school. Police have surrounded a building where they believe Myers to be.
Update 3:27 p.m. from Ryan Delaney/WRVO
Police say the shootings happened shortly before 10 a.m. in the towns of Herkimer and Mohawk, on opposite sides of the Mohawk River.
The Associated Press reports police have identified 64 year-old Kurt Myers as the suspect. He is believed to be hiding in a business on Main Street in Herkimer.
The shootings took place at a barber shop and then car wash about a mile apart. Along with the four dead, two people were left wounded.
A press conference with police and Governor Cuomo was scheduled for earlier this afternoon, but that was delayed after shots were fired during the standoff.
Local schools in the area were sent into lockdown when the shootings happened.
Update 3:09 p.m.: WIBX Radio is reporting that State Troopers in tactical gear are evacuating parts of Herkimer.
Update 2:57 p.m.: We are still waiting for the press conference to begin with Governor Cuomo and New York State Police.
Update 2:27 p.m.: Press conference in Herkimer has been delayed. There have also been reports that the Myers has been cornered by police, and has shot at officers.
Update 1:53 p.m.: There are reports of more gunshots in Herkimer.
Update 1:39 p.m.: The correct spelling of the suspect's name is Kurt Myers.
Update 1:34 p.m.: From the Associated Press: Guns and ammunition were found inside Meyers apartment in Mohawk when emergency crews were sent to put out the fire there.
Update 1:29 p.m.: The NYS Police and Governor Andrew Cuomo will be addressing the media at 2 p.m.
Update 1: 16 p.m.: The home that Meyers is suspected of setting fire to is believed to be his home.
Updated: 12:58 p.m.
Police are searching for Kurt Meyers, who is on the run after suspected of killing four people this morning in two separate shootings in Herkimer and Mohawk.
Meyers is suspected of shooting four people, killing two, at John's Barber Shop on Main Street in Mohawk and then fatally shooting two more people at Gaffey's Car Wash on Mohawk Street in Herkimer, just a mile away. Multiple schools in the area are on lock down, as the Meyers is still loose.
Meyers was seen driving a maroon Jeep Cherokee which was found abandoned in Herkimer. He is also suspected of setting fire to a building on Washington Street in Mohawk.
Police consider Meyers armed and dangerous.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is on his way to the area to be briefed by police.
Information from WKTV-TV and the Associated Press.