Upstate NY barber who survived rampage played dead

Upstate NY barber who survived rampage played dead

Posted: Updated:
A memorial sits on a vehicle outside John's Barber Shop on, March 14, 2013, in Mohawk, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll) A memorial sits on a vehicle outside John's Barber Shop on, March 14, 2013, in Mohawk, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

MICHAEL HILL | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The barber who survived last month's fatal shooting rampage in neighboring central New York villages said Wednesday he played dead while the gunman shot up his shop, even as one of the victims fell on him.

John Seymour recounted how Kurt Myers walked into his barbershop in Mohawk on March 13 just as he was pulling the cloth from a customer in the barber chair. Myers asked Seymour if he remembered him, pulled up his shotgun — Seymour had thought it was an umbrella — and began firing.

"It just kind of spooks me out that he would say, 'Do you remember me ...'  And he had a smirk on his face almost like he wanted me to know that he was the one who was going to do me in," Seymour, 66,  said in a phone interview from his home in Ilion.

Seymour yelled: "This is really a gun! He's going to kill us all!" as Myers started shooting Seymour and three of his customers. Seymour and Dan Haslauer survived, but Michael Ransear and Harry Montgomery Sr. were killed. Myers then drove to neighboring Herkimer, where he fatally shot two men inside Gaffey's Fast Lube.

Myers died in a shootout with police the next morning inside an abandoned Herkimer bar.

Seymour counted about nine shots in his shop and even recalls the song on the radio: the 1978 Joe Walsh hit "Life's Been Good." Seymour stayed still on the floor even as Montgomery fell on him. He had remembered an interview with a girl on TV who survived a family shooting by playing dead.

"I knew he shot everybody, but my worst fear was that maybe he was going to stand there and wait to see if anybody moved so he could shoot us again," he said.

Police were still trying to figure out a motive for the shootings. Seymour said he cut Myers' hair years ago and knew him only passingly as a "nervous-type guy" that you wouldn't want to hang around with.

Seymour, who initially spoke to the Utica Observer-Dispatch, is recovering at home with wounds to his left wrist and back. Though his scissoring wrist is still healing, he wants to get back to being a barber.

Not at his old shop, though.

"I don't think I'm going to back there, no," he said. "Too many memories."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:43:05 GMT
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
  • Boater gets prison for fatal Hudson River crash

    Boater gets prison for fatal Hudson River crash

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:18 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:18:53 GMT
    A man who was drunk when he crashed a powerboat into a construction barge, killing a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail. The victims' families, who say poor lighting on the barge was the main cause of the collision on the Hudson River, called the sentence "incomplete justice."
    A man who was drunk when he crashed a powerboat into a construction barge, killing a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail. The victims' families, who say poor lighting on the barge was the main cause of the collision on the Hudson River, called the sentence "incomplete justice."
  • NY: Wal-Mart levied fake 'sugar tax' on soda

    NY: Wal-Mart levied fake 'sugar tax' on soda

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-09-16 18:53:56 GMT
    New York's attorney general has settled a false advertising investigation at Wal-Mart, saying stores were charging a nonexistent "sugar tax" on soda.
    New York's attorney general has settled a false advertising investigation at Wal-Mart, saying some store personnel were citing a nonexistent "sugar tax" on soda. Investigators say some consumers who complained were falsely told the state has a "sugar tax." They say the markup of more than 16 percent violated state laws.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices