Throughout our coverage of the tragedy in Herkimer County, we've been hearing over and over about how tight knit the community is. YNN's Maria Valvanis has been speaking with people in the community and joined us with more on their reaction to this horrible tragedy.
HERKIMER, N.Y. -- It was crazy all day long. People in and out and the phone rang all day, people wanting to know if everyone was okay and what was going on,” said diner owner Kim Tranter.
Stationed at the corner of North Main and State Street, just blocks away from where the standoff was happening, the Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner became a spot for the community to come together in a time of fear.
Tranter said, “They were cold. They were hungry. They only had on thin sweatshirts and they couldn't return back home to get belongings.”
“Seeing the terror and uncertainty in everyone's faces, the customers calling their loved ones, seeing if everyone was okay,” diner owner Scott Tranter said.
“Things go through your mind. Was he coming here? Was he going to the diner next door?” Linda Bambara said.
Residents say the entire ordeal has just been surreal.
“You don't expect it to happen here, in our hometown, within walking distance, helicopters flying over like a movie set,” John Franco said.
"I've been going to Gaffey’s for 22 years and it just brings tears to my eyes," Cynthia Lane said.
“We're just a small town. We’re just a little village where most people know each other and it can happen anywhere,” said Kim Tranter.