Oppenheim man’s son survives Herkimer shooting

OPPENHEIM – A survivor of Wednesday’s shooting at Gaffy’s Fast Lube in Herkimer is the son of an Oppenheim man.

Jason Hutchinson of Mohawk was working at Gaffey’s and witnessed the shooting of two others before running for safety, said Hutchinson’s father, James Pearson of Oppenheim.

Police said Kurt Myers, 64, used a shotgun to kill Michael Renshaw, a customer, and Thomas Stefka, an employee.

Pearson said this morning he hadn’t talked to his son yet, but Pearson’s wife, Carole Pearson, has talked to him. Hutchinson declined to be interviewed by The Leader-Herald.

“He was pretty shaken up,” James Pearson said. “He’s at home right now.”

Pearson said Hutchinson just started working about a week and a half ago at Gaffey’s, doing lube work and washing cars.

He said his son was working when Myers walked in and started shooting.

Pearson said his son saw both men get shot and ran to the back of the business.

Once Hutchinson was able to get out of the building, Pearson said state police reunited him with his wife at a Ponderosa in Herkimer, where she works.

“I think it was pretty damn smart running,” Pearson said. “Some people would have frozen.”

Meanwhile, students and staff at Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School and other schools in the Herkimer BOCES region were under a security lockdown Wednesday while police searched for the suspect, O-E Business Administrator Karen Mettler said.

She said classes were conducted as normal, but as a safety precaution, no one was allowed to enter or leave the school Wednesday for a period without being cleared by authorities.

School resumed as usual today.

Police said this morning they have killed Myers.