Valley Shooting Spree: What We Didn’t Learn
It has been a full year since the villages of Mohawk and Herkimer were turned upside down by a deadly shooting spree that resulted in a total of five deaths – four of whom police say were innocent victims that were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Collectively we learned how to grieve. We learned how much we all care about our neighbors, especially in trying times. We learned that tragic mass shootings can happen in small-town America. And, we learned sometimes we don’t get all the answers we’re looking for.
Specifically, police weren’t able to figure out why it happened. To this day they don’t know what could have prompted Kurt Myers to open fire on innocent victims, what may have motivated him to chose his locations or victims, or why he refused to communicate with authorities or anyone for that matter – instead choosing to die in a shootout with police as they stormed his location where he was holed up for 19 hours.
In the follow-up investigation – conducted by local police and New York State Police – the question of ‘Why’ was never answered, Herkimer and Mohawk Police Chief Joseph Malone tells WIBX.
”Our investigation never revealed a cause or reason for it. His only [prior] run-in with the law was a DWI arrest in 90’s and there was no evidence of drug use,” Malone said.
He says authorities attempted to speak with any friends or family Myers had, but still no signs of a deadly shooting rampage and utterance of his lethal plan.
While Myers apartment was damaged by fire – one that police believe he purposely started before he left to begin his assault – investigators couldn’t turn up an note, manifesto or any kind of planning of what would come on March 13, 2013.
When asked if the shooting spree led to any policy change in either of the two departments he oversee, Malone said there were no official changes – because what led up to that tragic day is not known.
But, he says, ‘Obviously, we look at everything differently now than we did then. Nothing like that [had] ever happened in this area.”
Victims killed: Harry M. Montgomery, Michael G. Rancier, Thomas Stefka and Michael L. Renshaw.
Surviving shooting victims: John Seymour (barber) and Dan Haslauer, a customer at the barber shop.