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Loud bangs reported at site of standoff with gunman suspected in 4 deaths

Kurt R. Myers, who is believed to be responsible for the shootings at John's Barber Shop in Mohawk, is still at large. NBC's Brian Williams reports.

Police in upstate New York early Thursday remained in a tense standoff with a man suspected of killing four people and injuring two more, according to authorities.

New York State Police believe Kurt R. Myers, 64, is holed-up in an abandoned building in Herkimer, N.Y., after going on a shooting spree at a local car wash and barber shop.

The Utica, N.Y., Observer-Dispatch reported that loud bangs, alarms and a PA system were heard about 1:30 a.m. ET on Thursday at the site where Myers is believed to have barricaded himself.

The newspaper said a police robot had been sent into the building and that tactical units could been seen going in and out of the former bar. Floodlights remained pointed at the former bar, and police could be heard on a PA system asking for a peaceful surrender, the paper said. NBC News could not immediately confirm the report.

Troopers exchanged gunfire with the suspect when they first arrived at the scene of the now-abandoned sports bar, superintendent of New York State Police Jospeh D’Amico told reporters at a press conference Wednesday evening.

No officers were hurt, but police have so far had no success in communicating with Myers.

NY State Police

Police believe Kurt R. Myers, 64, shot four people on Wednesday.

Authorities believe that before his rampage, Myers set his residence on fire in Mohawk, N.Y., a small town between that lies roughly halfway between Syracuse and Albany.

From there, Myers is believed to have gone to John’s Barber Shop at about 9:30 a.m. ET, and shot four people, killing two of them, cops said.

"Totally unprovoked, we believe he fired a number of rounds from the shotgun," D'Amico said.

He then allegedly went to Gaffney’s Car Wash in the neighboring town of Herkimer and killed two more people before driving off to the abandoned bar where police believe he currently is in hiding.

“This is truly an inexplicable situation. There was no apparent rationale motive to the best of our knowledge at this time to provoke these attacks,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the press conference.

State Police identified the victims who died in the barber shop shooting as Harry Montgomery, 68, of Mohawk, and Michael Ransear, 57, of Herkimer. Killed at the car wash were Thomas Stefka, an employee in his 60s, and Michael Renshaw, a man State Police said was in his 40s and is a 20-year-veteran of the Department of Corrections.

Myers only other known criminal history was a 1973 arrest for driving while intoxicated. A number of guns and ammunition were found in his residence, according to Cuomo.

The areas around the standoff have been evacuated, and D’Amico said police are prepared to be hunkered down for the long hall.

James Baron, Mohawk's 29-year-old mayor, said he doesn't know Myers but knew several of the people who were shot, including "at least" two of the barber shop victims.

The mayor described his town of 2,700 people as close-knit and friendly, "the kind of place where you'd say, 'Oh, it would never happen here.'"

Cuomo echoed those sentiments in front of reporters, noting, “This is just another example that there is no community that is beyond the scope of senseless gun violence, and unfortunately we see this more and more and more.”

Michele Mlinar, a bartender in Herkimer, told the Observer-Dispatch that Myers was a regular at The Cangees Bar and Grill where she works.

"When I saw his picture, I just got sick to my stomach,” she told the paper, adding that Myers was nice to staff but always “very jittery and nervous.”

“It could have been here. It could have been us,” she said. 

NBC News' John Newland contributed to this report.

AP Photo/Mike Groll

Law enforcement officers walk along Main Street in Herkimer, N.Y., while searching for a suspect in two shootings that killed four and injured at least two on Wednesday.

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