State and local police conducted a news conference at the Herkimer County Office and Courts Facility on Thursday morning to address the barricade situation involving Kurt Myers at the site of the former Glory Days Food and Spirits on North Main Street in Herkimer.
Police said Wednesday’s events began with a fire shortly after 9 a.m. at Myers’ residence at 32 S. Washington St. in Mohawk. Minutes later a shooting was reported at John’s Barber Shop on West Main Street in Mohawk where Myers shot four men, killing two and injuring two others. Police then responded to a second shooting at Gaffey’s Fast Lube on Mohawk Street in Herkimer where two men were shot and killed. After the second shooting police said Myers fled to 248 N. Main St. in Herkimer where he would remain until Thursday morning.
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said police did not have contact with Myers throughout the barricade situation.
“The only contact police had with Myers was when he shot at police on Wednesday afternoon around 1:30 p.m. and the police shot back,” he said.
Throughout Wednesday night and into the early hours of Thursday morning police maintained a visual of Myers in a small room on the first floor of the building.
D’Amico said while police had maintained a visual of Myers throughout the night, time and safety were important factors considered before moving in on the shooting suspect.
“When there is a barricaded suspect and no hostages safety is the biggest concern. We were prepared to wait it out for the right moment,” he said.D’Amico said shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday the tactical team decided it was the appropriate time to enter the building.
In a matter of minutes the team entered the building and headed to the small room full of debris where Myers was hiding, he said.
“As the team entered through the doorway to the room Myers shot at the team and the team fired back killing Myers,” said D’Amico.
He added the only weapon found in Myers’ possession was a 12-gauge shotgun found along with extra ammunition inside the small room at the former bar.
D’Amico said police have no information regarding Myers’ motive, but believe the victims were chosen at random.
He said during the crossfire Thursday morning a German Shepard K-9 officer was shot and killed. “It’s unfortunate that we lost a K-9 officer and we are deeply saddened, but his life could have easily have been an officer’s life and we’re grateful that no other lives were lost in the crossfire,” said D’Amico. “As for the victims and their families inflicted by this violence my heart goes out to them all.”
Page 2 of 2 - “This is very tragic and it takes time to heal when something like this happens, but as a community we will come together like we were able to come together when this occurred,” said Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter.
Carpenter said his office has been in contact with the Office of Victims Services as well as Catholic Charities of Herkimer County who will be able to assist the victims and families involved with Wednesday’s tragic events.
As the events unfolded on Wednesday Carpenter said, “The community asked for help from every available police agency and received assistance from local police, the state police, several federal agencies, including the U.S. Marshals and the FBI, and what these police agencies have done was nothing short of heroic. I am thankful to have these law enforcement partners who provided us with such swift action.”
D’Amico said prior to Wednesday’s incident Myers had faced only one arrest for driving while intoxicated in 1973.