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4 Killed At NY Shops; Police Search For Suspect

12:16 PM, Mar 13, 2013   |    comments
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HERKIMER, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities have identified the man they believe killed of four people and wounded two others at separate shootings in neighboring upstate New York villages.

Joseph Malone, the police chief for Herkimer and Mohawk, says authorities are looking for 64-year-old Kurt Meyers, of Mohawk. Officials say guns and ammunition were found inside his apartment after emergency crews were sent to a fire there Wednesday morning.

Soon after, police say two people were fatally shot and two others wounded at John's Barber Shop, around the corner from the apartment. Officials say the second shooting happened about a mile away in Herkimer, where two people were killed at Gaffey's Fast Lube and Car Wash.

Officials say Meyers remains at large Wednesday afternoon. Police are focusing on a jewelry store in Herkimer.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A man opened fire at a car wash and a barbershop a mile apart Wednesday morning, killing four people and wounding at least two others, and a suspect was being sought, police said.

State police told local media outlets a man shot and killed two unidentified people Wednesday morning at Gaffey's Fast Lube in the village of Herkimer. Two others were killed at John's Barber Shop in the village of Mohawk. They said a total of six people had been shot.

The two villages are about 65 miles east of Syracuse, on opposite sides of the Mohawk River in a region known as the Mohawk Valley.

Late Wednesday morning, police SWAT teams and a helicopter converged on a jewelry store in Herkimer.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch reported that police were focusing on Freddy's Jewelers on Main Street, near the car wash and oil change business. The newspaper reported that officials in Mohawk, however, seemed to think the suspect was still on foot somewhere. Other reports suggested he may have been picked up by a taxi.

Herkimer County Community College and local schools were on lockdown. The college sent an automated cellphone alert around 10:40 a.m., telling students and staff that there was an "active shooter" in the area. The message identified the gunman as a man in his 60s, with a white beard and driving a red Jeep Cherokee. A text alert a few minutes later said the campus was on lockdown. Another alert advised people to remain inside buildings until further notice.

Amanda Viscomi, Herkimer's acting clerk-treasurer for the village of 7,700, told The Associated Press the shooting at Gaffey's happened a few blocks from village hall. She said she was told the shooter was at large and that state police, sheriff's deputies and other police were swarming the area.

"Everybody's on lockdown, all the schools, the college, the village," Viscomi said. "It's very, very scary."

The Observer-Dispatch reported that police were seen removing about a half-dozen long guns from an apartment building in Mohawk where a fire had broken out around 9:30 a.m. The building is around the corner from the barbershop.

Herkimer is named for the German immigrant family that settled in the western Mohawk Valley in the 1720s. The economically distressed villages are two miles away from Ilion, where a 2-century-old Remington Arms gun plant is a major employer.

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