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The Telegram
  • Some questions answered, others linger in deadly shootings

  • Very little has been learned about 64-year-old Kurt Myers in the five days since he shot six people in a murderous rampage across Herkimer County last week, police said Monday.

    But a look at the cell phone Myers had with him during the shooting spree Wednesday morning that left four people dead in Mohawk and Herkimer might reveal more about the killer’s private life, police said.

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  • Very little has been learned about 64-year-old Kurt Myers in the five days since he shot six people in a murderous rampage across Herkimer County last week, police said Monday.
    But a look at the cell phone Myers had with him during the shooting spree Wednesday morning that left four people dead in Mohawk and Herkimer might reveal more about the killer’s private life, police said.
    As police continue to piece together the puzzle left behind by Myers’ massacre, state police Senior Investigator Timothy Blaise in Herkimer said authorities still want anyone who might have known Myers to come forward.
    They can call state police at 866-7275.
    “We’re actively working on his background, so we’d like to talk to anybody that knew anything about him or anybody who has had conversations with him,” Blaise said. “We haven’t had a lot of people come forward yet.”
    Myers is believed to have attended SUNY Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown, and police have already talked to some of his friends from back then, Blaise said.
    Here are some of the questions police have looked into since Myers shot four people – killing two – at John’s Barbershop in Mohawk before killing two more people minutes later at Gaffey’s Fast Lube in Herkimer:
    What is known about the weapon Myers used in the shootings?
    It was a Mossberg 590 12-gauge pump-action shotgun that Myers legally obtained in 1996, Blaise said. Blaise could not yet say how many rounds had been fired or how many times each of the victims had been shot.
    Police know where Myers got the shotgun years ago, but Blaise did not yet want to publicly identify that person.
    There is no indication that Myers possessed any other weapons, Blaise said.
    Did any of the victims attempt to defend themselves before being shot?
    None of the victims were carrying any personal firearms, Blaise said, and there is no indication that any tried to fight with Myers. One victim, Michael Renshaw, appeared to be coming out of a bathroom at Gaffey’s when he and an employee, Thomas Stefka, were fatally shot shortly after 9:30 a.m.
    Another employee was also present at the lube shop, but he was in a pit underneath a vehicle in the garage when the shooting began, Blaise said.
    Why did Myers choose these places and shoot these people?
    Still unclear.
    “All we can say for sure is that he’s definitely been to those places before, but it doesn’t appear that he was targeting any individual,” Blaise said. “We haven’t found any indications that any of these victims knew him at all,” with the exception of the barber, John Seymour, who had cut Myers’ hair in the past.
    Page 2 of 2 - Seymour was listed in fair condition at St. Elizabeth Medical Center on Monday, while the only other survivor, Dan Haslauer, remained in critical condition and was due to undergo another surgery, Blaise said.
    Police have briefly talked to Seymour, but have not yet been able to speak with Haslauer about what happened, Blaise said. Two other men – Harry Montgomery Sr. and Michael Ransear – were shot and killed in the barbershop.
    What caused the earlier fire at Myers’ apartment in Mohawk?
    Blaise did not know if any cause had been determined yet, but he did say the fire appeared to be an act of arson and that gasoline was found at Myers’ apartment inside 32 S. Washington St.
    Although the fire was reported just minutes before Myers began shooting his victims nearby, Blaise said the purpose of the fire is not yet clear. Perhaps Myers knew he wouldn’t be coming back, Blaise speculated, or maybe it was to done to attract the attention of first responders while he carried out his shooting spree elsewhere.
    Did Myers leave behind any explanation for his actions?
    No. Police have found no notes, manifestos or journals to shed light on Myers’ state of mind or intentions, Blaise said. Blaise also isn’t aware of any computers Myers possessed, and nothing has been recovered from his apartment that would suggest Myers lived any kind of double life.
    Had Myers undergone any psychiatric treatment prior to the shootings?
    Not that police have found.
    “We’ve looked into that extensively,” Blaise said, but there’s no indication that Myers had ever been committed for any kind of psychiatric disorders. There’s also no evidence that Myers was taking any prescription drugs or using any controlled substances, Blaise said.
    Why did Myers choose to hide out in the abandoned former Glory Days and General Herkimer Hotel building?
    Still unclear.
    Myers parked his red Jeep Wrangler in the alley alongside the vacant building before entering through an unlocked back door, Blaise said. He was then hiding inside a small utility room when police stormed the cluttered bar, where Myers fatally shot a K-9 unit before police returned fire and killed Myers.
    Myers was not dressed appropriately to spend 19 hours holed up in a building without power, Blaise said. He was only wearing a flannel shirt underneath a hooded jacket along with a dark knit wool cap.
    Myers also never said a word to police at any point before he was shot dead, Blaise said.
     

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