Four people were killed in two separate shootings at a carwash and a barbershop in neighboring upstate New York towns on Wednesday and a manhunt was under way for a single gunman, police said.
The shootings took place in the Village of Herkimer at about 9:50 a.m. EDT (1350 GMT) and in the Village of Mohawk, said Sergeant Martin Luppino of the Herkimer Police Department.
Local and state police were searching for Kurt Meyers, suspected in the shootings that killed two people at Gaffey's Car Wash on Mohawk Street in Herkimer and two at John's Barber Shop in Mohawk, police said.
On Wednesday afternoon, a phalanx of state police troopers dressed in military garb marched behind an armored vehicle cruising the streets of Herkimer, WIBX radio reported. Gunshots rang out from the North Main Street area and police rushed to the area, WIBX reported.
The shootings on Wednesday morning took place shortly after a fire was reported at the Mohawk apartment house where Meyers lived, said Mohawk Mayor James Baron. The fire, which badly damaged the interior of the building, and the shootings were connected, the mayor said.
Schools in the area were placed on lockdown as a result, Baron said. WBIX reported the lockdown would continue after the usual dismissal time and children would be released only to parents or guardians.
Residents of the two towns, which face each other across the Mohawk River, were advised to stay indoors until the suspect is apprehended.
"I just want people to be safe," said Baron, who said a crime of similar magnitude has never occurred in his sleepy town of 2,700 people.
The two towns are located about midway between the state's capital Albany and the city of Syracuse.