Kurt Myers Killed 4 Wounded 2 has barricaded himself in a shuttered bar

Man Kills 4, Wounds 2, In Upstate New YorkMan Kills 4, Wounds 2, In Upstate New York

Police, snipers, and SWAT teams have a suspect who is believed to have murdered 4 people and wounded 2 others surrounded.  They believe he has barricaded himself in a shuttered bar on the main street of Herkimer, about 65 miles east of Syracuse in the historic Mohawk Valley region.

Kurt Myers, 64, of nearby Mohawk, was believed to be in a vacant apartment above the former Glory DaysMan Kills 4, Wounds 2, In Upstate New York Food and Spirits.

Whoever is inside fired several shots at police officers as they searched the downtown area Wednesday afternoon.

Myers is wanted for the shotgun slayings of two men and the wounding of two others at John’s Barber Shop, around the corner from his home, then driving about a mile and gunning down two more men at Gaffney’s Car Wash in Herkimer, across the Mohawk River. Officers later found hIs maroon Jeep abandoned.

“We’re in no rush to bring this to a conclusion,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said at a 5 p.m. news conference, adding that the safety of police officers was the top concern.

Myers is described as armed and dangerous.  Neighbors described him as a “loner”.

At the evening news briefing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there was “no apparent, rational motive, to the best of our knowledge at this time, to provoke these attacks.”

“This is truly an inexplicable situation,” he said.

Police identified the men slain at the barbershop as Harry Montgomery, 68, of Mohawk, and Michael Rancier, 57, of Herkimer. The shop owner, John Seymour, and a customer, Dan Haslauer, were listed in critical condition at St.Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica.

The carwash victims were identified as employee Thomas Stefka, in his 60s, and Michael Renshaw, in his 40s, a 20-year veteran of the New York State Department of Corrections.

Police say Myers began his day by setting fire to his apartment.  Firefighters took about 90 minutes to extinguish the blaze.  Police and investigators found several weapons in the apartment, but are not saying they belong to Myers.

All those who came in contact with Myers said he was somewhat anti-social.  A bartender who frequently served him described him as quiet, but “jumpy” and nervous.

Residents of the 10,000 member community were shocked.  They describe their life as quiet and serene.

The barbershop and carwash slayings are the third mass shootings of 2013.

The FBI defines a mass killing as when four or more people are killed. There have been 201 such cases since 2006 in the United States.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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