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The Sad, Violent Story Of The Upstate New York Shootout

After killing four people in a shooting spree, Kurt Meyers was killed this morning in a standoff with police. Here are the events leading up to Meyers' death.

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Wednesday morning at around 9:30 a.m., 64-year-old Kurt Meyers of Mohawk, New York sets his apartment on fire.

Observer-Dispatch, Steve Hughes / AP

Firefighters battle the fire at Kurt Meyers' apartment building at 32 S. Washington St. in the village of Mohawk, N.Y.

Neighbors recall Meyers as a recluse who never had guests and never spoke to anyone. He would drink alone at a nearby bar and had no known family. Police will later say his apartment contained numerous guns and ammunition.

New York State Police / AP

This undated photo provided by the New York State Police shows Kurt R. Meyers.

After setting fire to his apartment, Meyers drives around the corner to John's Barber Shop. He walks in carrying a shotgun and asks the owner, John Seymour, "Do you remember me?" Seymour responds, "Yes, Kurt, how are you?" Meyers then opens fire.

Brett Carlsen / Getty Images

The windows of John's Barber Shop are obscured after Kurt Meyers opened fire inside.

Meyers kills two customers, Harry Montgomery, 68, and Michael Ransear, 57. He critically wounds Seymour and another customer, Dan Haslauer. Witnesses of the shooting describe Meyers as methodical and calm.


Meyers drives to nearby Herkimer, New York. He enters Gaffey's Quick Lube and Car Wash and begins shooting. Michael Renshaw and Thomas Stefka are killed.

Observer-Dispatch, Rocco Laduca / AP

Gaffey's car wash in the village of Herkimer, N.Y.

Now that he's killed four people and wounded two, Meyers breaks into an abandoned storefront in downtown Herkimer and holes up.

Mike Groll / AP

A police officer stands in the door of the business where Meyers began his standoff.

After the initial shootout, a tense standoff sets in. Police are heard using loudspeakers trying to negotiate a surrender. With no response, police send in a robotic camera in an attempt to make contact with Meyers. Meyers remains silent.


Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaking from Herkimer, described the rampage as "inexplicable." Said Cuomo, “There was no apparent rational motive, to the best of our knowledge at this time, to provoke these attacks.”

Gavon Laessig is a deputy news director and front page editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Gavon Laessig at

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