Kurt Myers, who killed four men and injured two others in a shooting spree on March 13, still had 50 live rounds of 12 gauge ammunition and another 45 rounds in his vehicle when he was shot and killed by law enforcement officers, District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter told the Herkimer County Legislature during a meeting Wednesday.
“Those were live rounds,” he added. “That doesn't take into account what he already fired at all three locations.”
The shootings were very much on the minds of those attending the meeting, which had been postponed from last Wednesday because of the events of that day. Myers was holed up in the building which housed the former Glory Days bar until a tactical team that included state troopers and FBI agents entered the building the following morning. Shots were exchanged and Myers was killed.
Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent J. Bono called for a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
The Legislature also approved a resolution encouraging all residents of Herkimer County to recognize Monday, March 25, 2013, as a county-wide Day of Remembrance, to take time to offer thoughts of healing and prayer for the victims and their families, and to express gratitude for all our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and emergency responders for their monumental support.”
“The violence that started with a fire and escalated to a shooting spree with four men being shot and killed and two men being seriously injured has shocked and saddened not only all the residents of Herkimer County and our surrounding communities, but has been felt nationwide,” the resolution stated. “We mourn the loss of the deceased: Harry Montgomery, Michael Renshaw, Michael Ransear and Thomas Stefka, who was a former employee of the county of Herkimer.”
The resolution also expressed appreciation for “the professionalism and heroism of the law enforcement agencies, who responded at all levels, including our local police officers, the Herkimer County Sheriff's Department, the New York State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose combined resources protected our employees and public from any further harm and were able to bring the standoff to a close.”
The resolution also honored “the heroic acts of the FBI K-9, Ape, who lost his life to protect his partners.”
“Ape was on his second assignment and died protecting his partner and fellow officers,” Bono commented, adding the county's condolences would be extended to the dog's partner.
Carpenter said Ape's name is an acronym, which he was not at liberty to reveal, but he added, “Ape lived up to his name.”
Bono said the county and Herkimer County Community College are planning a time of remembrance and recognition to remember the victims and recognize all those who responded to the emergency and helped bring the crisis to an end. A date has not been set.
Page 2 of 2 - He expressed thanks to all those who responded to the emergency situation.
“We should not take these professionals for granted,” he said.
He praised the local police departments from Herkimer and Mohawk, calling them “our first line of defense” and pointing out that their work can be difficult and dangerous. He also thanked Sheriff Christopher Farber and his deputies for their efforts in protecting more than 400 county employees who were placed on lockdown, 911 Coordinator Bob Vandawalker and District Attorney Carpenter and his staff and others.
Bono also praised the entire community for its outpouring of support.
“I'm proud of the way this community pulls itself together,” he said. “I can't say thank you enough. It happened here. I'm just dumbfounded by the support we got.”
Carpenter praised the 911 operators for doing an outstanding job. Vandawalker said there was a failure in the cellular system, which is being addressed, but agreed the operators had done a great job. He also praised the woman at a business next to Gaffey's who witnessed the shootings there and “provided a detailed description of the vehicle and the direction of travel which helped lead to police cornering him in the building.”
“Do not second guess these professionals,” said Bono, adding he was troubled by comments and speculations by some. “Trust them. When they do something, there's a reason they do it.”
Bono said employees at the county office building were on lockdown from about 9:30 a.m. until the end of the day when they were escorted to the parking lots after state police cleared that move. That night the decision was made not to open the county offices until noon the following day.