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Motive in Herkimer shooting remains a mystery

HERKIMER -- Police trying to find out why a 64-year-old man fatally shot four people in two upstate New York villages said yesterday he had no money, no job and was maxed out on his credit cards.

Police still don't know why Kurt Myers opened fire Wednesday in a barber shop in Mohawk and a car care business in neighboring Herkimer, but they have gleaned a few details about his life. State Police Senior Investigator Timothy Blaise said Myers, who was killed by police the next day, had no money and carried a heavy debt load on several credit cards.

"It almost looks like that's what he was living off of," Blaise said. "He was just charging up his credit cards and not paying the bills."

Blaise said Myers had little in his modest apartment in Mohawk beyond a couch, a television, a dresser, a kitchen table and a bed.

Investigators are trying to determine whether he started the blaze that consumed his apartment the morning of the shootings.

Myers' shooting rampage began around the block from his apartment, where he used a shotgun to kill two customers at a barber shop. Two other men in the shop were wounded and remained hospitalized Monday.

Myers then drove about a mile to Gaffey's Fast Lube in Herkimer and killed two more men. Myers holed up in an abandoned bar in Herkimer, where police killed him in a shootout the next morning.

Myers had previously been to both businesses where he opened fire, but police can't find evidence that he had been to either in the past two years, Blaise said.

Myers left no note nor a computer that could point to a motive. Police are analyzing his cellphone.

Myers had no history of being treated for mental illness, though Blaise said acquaintances describe him as having compulsive habits and being set in his ways. For instance, every year he would get a new wardrobe and donate his oldest set of clothes.

Funeral services were held yesterday for two of the four men killed in the shootings: Michael Ransear, 57, of Herkimer and Harry Montgomery Sr., 68, of Mohawk.


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