Police in upstate New York's Herkimer County are looking for a suspect wanted for killing four people and injuring two in a shooting spree in the villages of Mohawk and Herkimer.
The two villages are about 65 miles east of Syracuse, on opposite sides of the Mohawk River in a region known as the Mohawk Valley.
The Herkimer Telegram reported that firefighters were battling a blaze at a building in Mohawk where the suspect apparently lived. He was described as a slender white male, aged 50 to 60, sporting a white beard and wearing a flannel shirt.
He is believed to have abandoned his maroon vehicle, possibly a Jeep, that was spotted at the scene of the two shootings.
The suspect was believed to be armed with a long gun used in the killings, the Telegram reported.
The Observer-Dispatch (uticaod.com) reported that SWAT teams and a police helicopter converged on jewelry store on Main Street in Herkimer where the suspect may have taken refuge, but later reported that the gunman may have fled on foot.
The suspect apparently set fire to his residential building in Mohawk, then went to John's Barber Shop shop in the same village where he killed two people and injured two.
He then drove to Gaffney's Fast Lube in nearby Herkimer where the second shootings occurred.
Amanda Viscomi, Herkimer's acting clerk-treasurer for the village of 7,700, told The Associated Press the shooting at Gaffey's happened a few blocks from village hall. She said she was told the shooter was at large and that state police, sheriff's deputies and other police were swarming the area.
"Everybody's on lockdown, all the schools, the college, the village," Viscomi said. "It's very, very scary."
Herkimer County Community College and local schools were on lockdown. The county has a population of almost 65,000 people.
"It's very unusual for our small community to have such a horrific situation happen," said Herkimer County Legislator Robert Schrader, 49, who represents Herkimer village and town. "It's a very nice community. We have never had anything like this happen, not in my lifetime."
The FBI defines a mass killing as when four or more are killed. There have been 201 such cases since 2006.
The barber shop and car wash slayings, if committed by the same gunman, would represent the third mass killing of 2013. All have been shootings.
What police say was an attempted apartment robbery in Tulsa ended with four women slain in January. Police have arrested two brothers, both of whom have been charged with murder.
Later that month, a 15-year-old boy was charged with five counts of murder after his family was found shot at their Albuquerque, N.M., home.