When authorities gunned down 64-year-old Kurt Myers inside the former Glory Days bar Thursday morning, many believe justice had been served.
But the gray-bearded mystery man from Mohawk will never have to face the families whose lives he ruined by killing four people in a shooting spree nearly 24 hours earlier.
Nor will he ever be able to explain why all those people are dead.
That will make it that much harder for police and the community to ever make sense of the series of events that twisted an otherwise typical day in Herkimer County into one of “senseless horror.”
“Anytime you have a suspect you can’t question because he’s dead, all you can do is some background investigation and find out what happened in the days and weeks leading up to the incident, whether there was any pre-planning,” state police spokesman Trooper Jack Keller said Thursday. “We’re trying to piece together a puzzle, but we’re not able to ask the individual himself.”
That leaves police to question anyone who might know whether something had gone wrong recently in Myers’ life, officials said. But in this case, they said, nobody has come forward yet to shed light on the kind of life Myers was living before it ended in the worst mass shooting the Mohawk Valley has ever seen.
Myers’ family has had little contact with him over the years, police said, and it wasn’t clear if Myers had been working or involved in a relationship with anyone that could have pushed him over the edge.
Instead, police said, everybody seems to be repeating the same story — that Myers was a loner, a strange man who didn’t have much to say to anyone.
One man who worked for 20 years with Myers said the suspect was intelligent, quiet and a good worker who had gotten along well with colleagues.
But Steve Copperwheat, who hired Myers as a machine operator in the early 1980s at Waterbury Felt in Oriskany, a manufacturer of industrial textiles, said he encountered him in a Walmart parking lot three months ago after not seeing him in about 10 years.
“I yelled over to him and he looked at me, said my name, said he was retired, and just went booking away,” Copperwheat said. “It was almost like he didn’t want anybody to know where he was. He was trying to be very distant, which surprised me. The whole conversation was really spooky.”