On Sunday morning, a father from East Northport who had come to Poughkeepsie to spend the weekend with his son at Marist College was fatally shot by a stranger in what police are calling a random encounter at a neighboring motel.
Police in the Town of Poughkeepsie have charged one suspect with second-degree murder for the shooting death of 53-year-old Paul Kutz, and another with felony unlawful possession of a firearm.
Around four miles from the Marist campus, where Kutz was staying, was the Courtyard by Marriott, where both defendants were staying.
Shortly after the shooting at 7:29 a.m., Kutz was taken to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, where he was later declared dead. The 911 call reporting the “disturbance” and gunfire was made a minute earlier.
The court documents against Roy A. Johnson, 35, state that he is accused of two felonies: second-degree murder and illegal possession of a firearm. There was no bail set for him.
Devin M. Taylor, 26, was also charged with felony criminal possession of a firearm as the second defendant. His bail was set at $500,000 in cash, $1,000,000 in bond, or $5,000,000 partly secured while he was being detained in the Dutchess County prison.
It was noted in the complaint that both defendants lacked a permanent place to call home. They were not put there via any county assistance or temporary housing program, according to Dutchess County authorities. When asked how long Johnson and Taylor were staying or how they got there, police stated they had no idea.
Poughkeepsie Town Police Lt. Jason Burger claimed that Kutz was not the intended target of the gunshot and that the two guys involved did not know each other.
The police have said that they do not know what precipitated the altercation in the hotel lobby. According to Burger, the crime scene was still active on Tuesday.
“They ran into each other in the foyer,” Burger said. To quote the police report: “The suspect did not go there seeking physical conflict with the victim.”
According to the company’s website, Kutz is a certified public accountant who, together with his brother Andrew, established the firm in Great Neck more than three decades ago.
“The Kutz family appreciates the outpouring of love and support they have received during this difficult time. In a statement sent by their close friend Maria Zouros, they asked for solitude so that they may grieve the death of their loved ones.
Many East Northport residents and those at Kutz’s Great Neck workplace were shaken by the news of his death.
According to his former neighbors, Kutz was a family guy who did all he could for his wife and three boys.
“Paul was a remarkable individual. A very kind human being, “the neighbor Erik Jensen said. “The situation is awful, to say the least. To put it simply, he was the ideal next-door neighbor.”
Those who worked at Kutz’s accounting company in Great Neck claimed he and his brother ran the business for at least 30 years. Kutz was usually one of the first employees to arrive at work, and he never missed an opportunity to welcome his coworkers while he made coffee.
The death of Paul stunned me, attorney Marc Zisselman stated. And the family has my deepest condolences.
Hotel search results allegedly revealed “manuals connected to the fabrication of explosive devices, as well as items with the potential to be used as explosives,” as reported by the police.
Police stated in a statement that although they found “explosive components,” no actual explosive devices were discovered, therefore there was no “active danger to the public.”
Bomb technicians from the New York State Police and the ATF were called in after the bomb materials were found.
Several miles off campus, at a nearby hotel, a parent of a Marist student was shot and killed, according to a statement released by the college on Sunday. Please accept our sincere sympathies; the whole Marist family is behind you. We are still in touch with the police and will let the neighborhood know about any developments.