Long Island Dad Visiting Marist Killed in Poughkeepsie Shooting

Poughkeepsie shooting
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A 53-year-old accountant from Long Island was killed in a Poughkeepsie shooting while visiting his son who is a student at Marist College, according to police and upstate New York media reports.

Paul Kutz was identified as the victim who was gunned down, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported. Town of Poughkeepsie police have arrested two homeless men who were staying at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, where authorities allegedly found materials to make explosives in the suspects’ room.

“This was a random act,” Poughkeepsie Police Chief Joseph Cavalier told reporters during a news conference, noting that the hotel was temporarily evacuated.

A 911 caller reported a disturbance at the hotel and during the call, a shot was fired at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. The shooting occurred outside the hotel, according to investigators. The motive was not immediately clear. The victim and the suspects were not known to each other, police said.

The victim was taken to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

“During the building search, a hotel room was found to contain manuals related to the making of explosive devices, as well as materials with the potential to be used as explosives,” police said in a news release. “While explosive components were found, there were no explosive devices.”

Roy A. Johnson Jr., was charged with second-degree murder and one count of criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail at Dutchess County Jail. He previously served time in prison for robbery and burglary, records show.

The second suspect, 26-year-old Devin M. Taylor, was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. His bail was set at $500,000 cash, $1 million bond or $5 million partially secured bond.

The New York State Police Bomb Squad responded to secure the material and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms was among multiple law enforcement agencies that responded to the scene. 

The shooting occurred as the college was celebrating its annual Family Weekend, which is billed as “a fun-filled opportunity for students and their families to meet, mingle and make memories with other members of the Marist community.” It was not clear if Kutz attended the festivities.

The hotel where the Poughkeepsie shooting occurred is located several miles from the campus.