Final autopsy results might shed light on whether 64-year-old Kurt Myers was under the influence of any kind of drugs or substances when he began a shooting spree that left four people dead this week, authorities said.
While the autopsy findings for Myers and his four victims had not yet been released Friday, state police officials said it will still take some time until a toxicological analysis of Myers’ blood is complete.
In the meantime, the quest for answers was still under way to determine what might have motivated the loner Myers to seemingly target random people Wednesday morning in the villages of Mohawk and Herkimer.
“He went from Mr. Obscure to a mass murderer in less than an hour, so there’s definitely more to the story that we just don’t know yet,” state police Troop D Capt. Frank Coots said. “And we may never know the answers, but we certainly would like to know why and the victims’ families would like to know why.”
Police say Myers used a 12-gauge shotgun to first shoot four people at John’s Barbershop in Mohawk at about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, killing two – Harry Montgomery Sr. and Michael Ransear. The shop’s barber, John Seymour, was still in fair condition Friday after being shot as well, while a fourth victim, Dan Haslauer, remained in critical condition.
Myers then killed two other people several minutes later at Gaffey’s Fast Lube in Herkimer – employee Thomas Stefka and customer Michael Renshaw.
The killer spent the next 19 hours holed up inside the abandoned Glory Days bar in downtown Herkimer, where he was ultimately gunned down at about 8 a.m. Thursday by a swarming tactical team after Myers first killed their K-9 unit.
It was unclear Friday how much new information investigators had learned in the 24 hours after Myers’ death, but state police did have to unexpectedly split their efforts after another homicide occurred Friday night north of Syracuse.
In that unrelated case nearly 70 miles away, a Cicero man — David J. Renz, 29 — was charged with murder, rape and kidnapping after he allegedly attacked Lori Bresnahan, 47, and a 10-year-old girl outside the Great Northern Mall in Clay, state police said.
Renz allegedly first bound Bresnahan before sexually assaulting the young girl, then fatally stabbed the woman as the girl fled from the vehicle, police said. Renz was apprehended a short time later.
Back in Herkimer County, investigators still haven’t said what might have sparked the fire inside Myers’ South Washington Street apartment in Mohawk just minutes before Myers began his deadly rampage at the nearby barbershop.
Although Coots was at the scene Thursday when tactical units stormed Myers’ hideout, Coots said he isn’t sure whether Myers had any clothing or resources to help him make it through the frigid night inside a building without any power.
Page 2 of 2 - But regardless of whether police after know what triggered Myers, Coots said all these senseless deaths have struck at the mission that law enforcement takes very seriously.
“This shakes everyone’s feelings of safety and security, and it is incumbent upon law enforcement and our criminal justice system to make people feel safe again,” Coots said. “If people don’t feel safe, then we’re not doing our job. Our job became that much more difficult because of the events on Wednesday.”