BBC News

NY manhunt after four shot dead

image captionPolice on a main street in Herkimer, New York state

More gunfire has rung out, some from police, amid a manhunt for a suspect who shot dead four people in two attacks in upstate New York.

Police say Kurt Meyers, 64, opened fire at a barber shop and then a car wash in neighbouring villages, killing two at each location and wounding two others.

Guns and ammunition were found inside Mr Meyers' home, officials said.

Schools were on lockdown as police searched for the suspect on foot and in a helicopter.

The villages of Mohawk and Herkimer are described as twin communities on either side of the Mohawk River, about 65 miles (105km) east of the city of Syracuse.

'Very scary'

The weapons were found in Mr Meyers' apartment after emergency crews were sent to a fire there on Wednesday morning. The shootings began shortly afterwards.

Police were fired on from a building on Wednesday afternoon in the village of Herkimer, where the second shooting happened. Officers appear to have a suspect cornered.

image captionAn undated photo of Kurt Meyers, provided by New York state police

Myles Smith, who lives in one of the apartments above nearby shops, told the Associated Press by phone he had heard police appealing to someone to surrender.

"The snipers on the roof are sitting there,'' Mr Smith said. "I ain't seen a whole lot of movement. I heard about five gunshots. I keep hearing them trying to talk him out, but I don't think he's coming out."

New York state police said two people had been shot dead and two others wounded at a barber shop in Mohawk, before two others were gunned down at a car wash in Herkimer.

According to the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper, the suspect was seen carrying a long gun.

After Wednesday morning's shootings, nearby schools and Herkimer County Community College were placed on lockdown, the regional TV station WKTV reports.

Mohawk Mayor James Baron said he did not know Mr Meyers, but knew several of the people who were shot, including "at least" two of the barber shop victims.

The 29-year-old mayor described his village as close-knit and friendly, "the kind of place where you'd say, 'oh, it would never happen here'".

More on this story

  • How will Newtown shootings change the US gun debate?