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Upstate N.Y. standoff ends, suspect dead

  |   March 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM
HERKIMER, N.Y., March 14 (UPI) -- The suspect in the shooting deaths of four people in upstate New York was killed by police Thursday in a shootout, officials said.

Police said they returned fire on suspect Kurt Myers after Myers opened fire as officers entered the basement of a vacant building in Herkimer, N.Y., the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported.

Myers, 64, of Mohawk, was the prime suspect in the Wednesday shooting deaths of four people at two businesses in Herkimer and Mohawk. Two others were injured.

Police stormed the vacant building in Herkimer after daybreak, ending a nearly 19-hour standoff, the Observer-Dispatch said.

Officials said schools in Herkimer and Mohawk were closed as a precaution.

Herkimer spent Wednesday on lockdown after the suspect allegedly killed four people and holed up in the shuttered sports bar Glory Days Food and Drink.

During the standoff, local police officers and state troopers surrounded building and tried unsuccessfully to contact Myers by cellphone, the newspaper said.

Myers allegedly started a fire in the building where he lived in Mohawk Wednesday morning and shot four men at John's Barbershop, killing two of them. Police said he then drove across the Mohawk River to Herkimer and killed two people at Gaffey's Fast Lube.

His car was found near the building formerly occupied by Glory Days. Police evacuated buildings along Main Street and placed schools on lockdown.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrived in Herkimer with State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico shortly after the standoff began and remained at the scene for several hours.

Two customers, Harry M. Montgomery, 68, and Michael G. Rancier, 57, were killed at the barbershop. The owner, John Seymour, was wounded.

Those killed at the car wash were employee Thomas Stefka and Michael Renshaw, a state Corrections Department employee

People who encountered Myers described him as an isolated man, the Observer-Dispatch said.

Michele Minar, a bartender at Congee's in Herkimer, said he was "jittery" and a "loner" who usually came in on Fridays and Saturdays to listen to live music and drink two Coors beers.

"He just wasn't a people person, and he would never talk to anyone else," she said.

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