HERKIMER, N.Y. - On Thursday morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tactical K-9 "Ape" was killed in the line of duty while accompanying FBI agents who were attempting to arrest Kurt Myers, theMore >>
On Thursday morning, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Tactical K-9 "Ape" was killed in the line of duty while accompanying FBI agents who were attempting to arrest Kurt Myers, the suspected killer of four people in Herkimer Wednesday.More >>
HERKIMER, N.Y. - Authorities say 64-year-old Kurt Myers, the suspected gunman in a rampage that left four people dead and at least two injured Wednesday, was killed during a police shootout Thursday morning
Police and SWAT teams had surrounded a block of small businesses on North Main Street in the village of Herkimer since the shooting spree started Wednesday morning. They used gas in the building, but the suspect was able to hole himself up in a small room and avoid most of it.
Trooper Jack Keller says police went into the building around 8 a.m. He says the final shootout occurred in the basement shortly after that. Police say Myers shot and killed a German Sheppard FBI police dog when authorities then returned fire at him, killing him.
"It was a matter of minutes once tactical teams entered the building and Myers began shooting," police say.
Joseph Malone, the police chief for Herkimer and Mohawk, said Myers, of 32 South Washington Street in Mohawk, was hiding out in a building on 248 North Main Street which is the old "Glory Days" bar in Herkimer that has been closed for many years.
Police say they have no information on a motive.
Officials say guns and ammunition were found inside Meyers' apartment after emergency crews were sent to a fire there Wednesday around 9:30 a.m.
Then three minutes later, at 9:33 a.m., police say two people were fatally shot and two others wounded at John's Barber Shop, around the corner from the apartment.
Officials say the second shooting happened about one mile away in Herkimer, five minutes later at 9:38 a.m., where two people were killed at Gaffey's Fast Lube and Car Wash, on Mohawk Street.
Police say a total of six people were shot, four killed. Here are the victims released from New York State Police:
At John's Barber Shop, 68-year-old Harry Montgomery, of Mohawk, and 57-year-old Michael Rancier, of Herkimer, were both pronounced deceased at the scene.
The owner of the barber shop, John Seymour, and a customer at the barber shop, Dan Haslauer, are both listed in critical condition from gun shot wounds at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Utica.
At Gaffey's Jiffy Lub, an employee of Gaffey's, Thomas Stefka, and a 20-year veteran of NYS Corrections, Michael Renshaw, were both shot and killed on scene.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo went to the scene of the shootings in early afternoon as police SWAT teams and a helicopter continued a manhunt for the suspect.
Thursday morning, Cuomo released the following 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."
Herkimer County Community College and local schools were on lockdown Wednesday, and Thursday the Herkimer Central School District was closed Thursday. HCCC is opening at 10 a.m. Thursday.
The college sent an automated cellphone alert around 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, telling students and staff that there was an "active shooter" in the area. A text alert a few minutes later said the campus was on lockdown. Another alert advised people to remain inside buildings until further notice.
Herkimer is named for the German immigrant family that settled in the western Mohawk Valley in the 1720s. The economically distressed villages are two miles away from Ilion, where a 2-century-old Remington Arms gun plant is a major employer.