Monday, December 22, 2014

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Police kill suspect from deadly shooting rampage

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Police kill suspect from deadly shooting rampage
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We're continuing to follow the events unfolding in Herkimer County after police say a man lit his home on fire, killed four people, injured two and got into a standoff with police that lasted nearly a full day. Our Andrew Sorensen was at the latest police briefing and tells us what details they've been able to piece together so far.

HERKIMER, N.Y. -- Police waited over 22 hours to make their final move on alleged gunman Kurt Myers.

“Safety is our paramount concern and we're always prepared to wait it out as long as we need to,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico explained.

But they’re still trying to explain what happened.

“Take you back to yesterday,” D’Amico said. “As you recall, Myers shot and killed four individuals, shot and injured two others who are still in serious and critical condition in a local hospital.”

Mohawk resident Kurt Myers, 64, stunned everyone in the villages of Mohawk and Herkimer Wednesday morning.

“It did unfold in minutes, the fire was set, the officers were responding there,” Herkimer Police Chief Joe Mallone said of the fire Myers allegedly set at his own home. “They arrived at the scene, they received reports of gun shots.”

Police say Myers then went to John's Barber Shop in Mohawk, shot and killed two people and injured another two with a shot gun. He then allegedly went to Gaffey's oil and car wash in Herkimer and killed two more people.

State and local police tracked Myers to a vacant building on Main Street in Herkimer, after they found his car and waited.

“He fired shots out from the front of the location. A member of law enforcement returned fire, he fired an additional shot out,” D’Amico said.

That was at 2 p.m. Into the night, Police deployed robots to try to find Myers, talked to him over loud speakers and used grenades.

“We deployed gas yesterday a couple times,” said D’Amico.

Then all went quiet until about 8 a.m., when police went in with canines. They say they found Myers in a small room on the first floor.

“The gunman began to shoot at the tactical team, struck one of the canines and fire was returned and exchanged with the gunman from one of the tactical teams and at that time, the male, Kurt Myers, was killed inside the location,” D’Amico said.

Now police are combing over the four scenes, trying to find some motive.

“We think they were unprovoked and random,” D’Amico said. “The few people that we did find that were relatives, we've interviewed some neighbors. Nobody could offer any explanation.”

The DA does have a search warrant for Myers' house and will be looking through that for any information they can find on why this happened.

We'll also be following the loss of four community members, as well as the loss of the FBI police dog that was shot during the raid.

Watch the news conference in its entirety:

CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Police kill suspect from deadly shooting rampage
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Statements on Herkimer County shootings:

-Statement from Governor Cuomo:
“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."

-Statement from State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta):
“I am thankful that the tragic situation in Herkimer has come to an end without further loss of innocent human lives. We have the dedicated men and women in law enforcement to thank, and I commend them for their vigilance and bravery in bringing this horrific situation to a close and restoring safety to our streets.

“My thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of those lost in the close knit communities of Herkimer and Mohawk. I know there are many to lean on in this time of grief and mending and I trust the compassion, unity, and community strength we are all accustomed to will be on full display as we heal together.”

-Statement from the Office of the Oneida County District Attorney:
"The Office of the Oneida County District Attorney extends their deepest sympathies to the victims of the tragic events in Herkimer County, their families and to the communities traumatized by the actions of the person responsible. We pray for the full recovery of the additional victims now fighting for their lives as we all struggle to gain perspective on these brutal and senseless acts. At the same time, we express heartfelt thanks to the officers involved in bringing the current situation to a conclusion without the death of additional civilians, while extending condolences to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the canine whose life was lost that others might be safe. Lastly, we express our gratitude to the brave men and women of the greater law enforcement community who willingly accept risk and sacrifice each and every day so that we all might enjoy the blessings of living and raising a family in a civilized society."

-Statement from U.S. Representative Richard Hanna:
“I am deeply saddened by this heartbreaking and senseless event. My sympathy and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the entire Valley community. My wife and I pray for a full recovery of the two who are wounded.

“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and bravery of police forces at all levels: our local officers, the Herkimer County Sheriff’s deputies, the New York State Police and the FBI, including the fatally shot K9 officer. I commend their efforts to bring a horrifying situation to a close without further violence. They should know their performance is a great comfort to this community.

“Together, we will grieve during this difficult time.”

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