Wed, 13 Mar 2013 14:28:25 GMT — Police have surrounded an abandoned building at 248 North Main Street in the Village of Herkimer where a shooting suspect is believed to be hiding. Kurt R. Myers, 64, of Mohawk, is suspected of killing four people and injuring two others in shootings at two different locations Wednesday morning. The shootings happened at John's Barber Shop on Washington Street in Mohawk and Gaffey's Jiffy Lube on Mohawk Street in the Village of Herkimer. Officials say the incident began at 9:30 a.m. when there was a report of a fire at Myers??s apartment at 32 South Washington Street in Mohawk. They believe Myers set the fire. Officials say Myers then drove to John's Barber Shop at 17 Main Street in Mohawk around 9:33 a.m. where he shot four people. Two victims were killed and two are in critical condition. Officials say Myers spokes with the people in the business before firing a number of rounds. They say it was unprovoked. Officials say Myers then drove to Gaffey's Fast Lube at 320 Mohawk Street in the Village of Herkimer around 9:38 a.m.. Myers is accused of firing additional rounds hitting and killed two people. Myers then fled the scene. Officials say he went to a location on North Main Street, in what appears to be an abandoned building. Police located his vehicle nearby, surrounded the building, and began a grid search. Neighbors in surrounding apartment buildings were evacuated. Around 1:30 p.m., shots were fired at police from the building. Police returned fire. No one was injured. Reporters were gathered in the area awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo to speak at a news conference. Cuomo had arrived in Herkimer about 10 minutes prior to the shooting. Officials say they believe Myers is in trapped the building on North Main Street. Police have had no contact with Myers since they believe he fired at them. Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking at a news brief in Herkimer around 5:00 p.m., advised people in the area to stay home, out of the area, and off the streets until the situation comes to a conclusion. Myers is still at large. Cuomo says there is "no apparent rational motive" for the shootings. Officials say a number of guns and ammunition was found inside Myers' apartment. Police have identified the victims at John's Barber in Mohawk as Harry Montgomery, 68, of Mohawk and Michael Ransear, 57, of Herkimer. The victims of the Gaffey's Fast Lube in the Village of Herkimer have been identified as Thomas Stefka and Michael Renshaw. Stefka was an employee at Gaffey's. Renshaw was a 20-year veteran of New York State Corrections. The New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association issued a statement, saying they were "sad to hear of the senseless and tragic deaths of Michael Renshaw and Michael Ransear."
Mike Renshaw was a Correction Officer at Mid-State Correctional Facility with 23 years on the job. Mike Ransear retired from Mohawk Correctional Facility after a career as a New York State Correction Officer. "These men spent their lives in service to their communities and their state, and there are no words to express our profound grief over their untimely passing," the statement said. "Today??s tragedies are a tremendous loss for everyone who knew these men and who served alongside them. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends and fellow officers during this difficult time. NYSCOPBA stands ready to help those touched by this senseless act of violence in the coming days and weeks."
Police say John Seymour, owner of John's Barber shop, and Dan Haslauer, a customer, were both taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica in critical condition. As of Thursday night, Seymour had been upgraded to fair condition. A hospital spokesperson did not have a condition update for Haslauer. A woman who says she knew Myers tells CNY Central's Alex Dunbar that Myers was known as a loner. Says she had concerns about him. She says he has been coming into a local bar for the past ten years, always alone. Myers had one prior incident on his criminal record for DWI in the town of Webb in 1973. Schools in Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion, Frankfort and Dolgeville were on lockdown after the shootings. Herkimer County Community College was also on lockdown. The lockdown was reportedly recommended by Herkimer Police. Senator Kristen Gillibrand said on Twitter , "My heart goes out to the victims of senseless gun violence in Herkimer County, NY today." (Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)