Police have not yet apprehended the shooter responsible for killing four people and injuring two others in Herkimer and Mohawk today.
SWAT teams and a police helicopter converged on Freddy's Jewelers, next to Glory Days, on Main Street in Herkimer, in the late morning, and it appeared police believed the suspect was in the building. However, Mohawk officials seemed to think the suspect was still on foot somewhere, and other reports suggested he may have been picked up by a taxi.olice have not yet apprehended the shooter responsible for killing four people and injuring two others in Herkimer and Mohawk today.
A Herkimer Police Department official said the SWAT team was following up on a reported sighting.
State police Public Information Officer Jack Keller said two people were fatally shot at Gaffey's Fast Lube on Mohawk Street in Herkimer and two more were fatally shot in Mohawk. At least two others were injured, but Keller could not say at which location. It appears the Mohawk shootings occurred at John's Barber Shop, which is on West Main Street, around the corner from South Washington Street.
The Herkimer Police Department denied rumors there was a third shooting site at either the Herkimer Post Office or a second barber shop.
Jason Ackler, 39, of Ilion, said his best friend’s father was among the people shot at John's Barber Shop in Mohawk. His condition was unknown.
“I think this guy is trying to prove a point,” he said. “It definitely seems like he knew what he was doing.”
Police approached a couple older men who were among the people gathered at the scene in Herkimer. Because they matched the suspect's identification, police checked their IDs.
Police believe the suspect set his home in Mohawk on fire before heading to the barber shop near his home. Several people were shot there and two people were killed. He then headed to Gaffey’s.
The suspect reportedly used a long gun for the shootings. He had not been apprehended as of 11:45 a.m. There were some reports he may have worked at Gaffey's.
Firefighters battled the structure fire at an apartment building at 32 S. Washington St. in Mohawk from sometime around 9:30 a.m. until shortly before 11 a.m. Officials said it began in the rear of the building, but the cause is still under investigation.
Reports indicate the suspect lived in that building; police were seen taking about half a dozen long guns from the residence shortly before 11 a.m. but would not confirm if they belonged to the suspect.
Several state police officials and Herkimer police Chief Joseph Malone also were in front of Gaffey’s Fast Lube in Herkimer. The area was surrounded by yellow police tape. A couple of officers were armed with shotguns.
Page 2 of 2 - Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion, Frankfort and Dolgeville schools, Herkimer BOCES and Herkimer County Community College were placed on lockdown at about 10 a.m., school officials said. Herkimer Superintendent Ted Kawryga said the move was recommended by village police. Classes were continuing as normal, but school officials were monitoring the entrances.
Don Heath, Jr., 36, of Mohawk, said his daughter, who is in seventh grade in Mohawk, is nervous because the school is on lockdown.
“What’s going on today in the Mohawk Valley is very intense," he said. "Something like this never happens around here so this is a scary thing.”
Police initially were searching for a maroon vehicle in connection with the shootings. That vehicle later was found in Herkimer.
Reports indicate police are searching for a 50- to 60-year-old slender white male, about 5-foot-11, with white hair and a white beard, last seen wearing a flannel shirt.