Federal and New York state authorities killed Kurt Myers, the man suspecting of murdering four people Wednesday in Herkimer County, on Thursday morning following a 19-hour standoff, but have yet to piece together why the 64-year-old man committed the shootings.
Myers started his rampage Wednesday morning, when he shot four people, killing two of them, at John’s Barbershop in Mohawk, N.Y. He set fire to his Mohawk home about 9:30 a.m. before the murders.
The victims in the barbershop murders were identified as customers Harry Montgomery, Sr., 68, and Michael Ransear, 57, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported. Montgomery was a Mohawk resident while Ransear lived in nearby Herkimer.
John Seymour, owner of the barbershop, and customer Dan Hansleur were the shooting victims who survived. Seymour was listed in fair condition as of Thursday morning while Hansleur’s condition was not given, the paper reported.
Myers then drove to Gaffey’s Fast Lube in Herkimer and shot and killed two more people – employee Thomas Stefka and customer Michael Renshaw.
The gunman then holed himself inside an abandoned hotel above a bar. Myers fired shots at police and killed an FBI dog when agents and New York State Police officers stormed the building around 8 a.m. Thursday. He was killed after a 19-hour standoff with federal, state and local authorities, WKTV reported.
New York State Police Superintendent John D’Amico said authorities “did very good work from the initial response to the multiple [homicide] incident yesterday to the vigil overnight and finally to the entry this morning,” according to the Observer-Dispatch.
Authorities were unable to determine Myers’ motive as of Thursday.
“We don’t know the reason for his actions. We would hope that somewhere in the course of the investigation we learn more about him or what motivated him," D'Amico said.
Joseph Malone, chief of police for both Herkimer and Mohawk, said authorities braved cold temperatures and long hours leading up to the killing of Myers.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families," he said, according to WKTV.
"I also want to thank the businesses and residents that provided food and assistance to what seemed like a small army here in the village," he added, according to the Observer-Dispatch. "Again, thank you for all that you’ve done for us."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Herkimer and in a statement thanked law enforcement.
"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," Cuomo said. "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."
Both the governor and Malone said the shootings showed that no community is immune to the kind of violence perpetrated by Myers.
“There is no community beyond the scope of senseless gun violence,” Cuomo told a news conference before Myers was killed.