Family 'Destroyed' After Tragedy During College Parents Weekend

Dad Paul Kutz, 53, was gunned down in hotel near NY's Marist College while visiting son
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2022 12:56 PM CDT
NY Dad Fatally Shot While Visiting Son at College
The sign for a separate Courtyard by Marriott in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux)

A Long Island dad of three visiting one of his sons at Marist for the college's Family Weekend was killed by a stray bullet at the hotel where he was staying. People reports that 53-year-old accountant Paul Kutz of East Northport, NY, was gunned down early Sunday morning in the lobby of the Courtyard by Marriott in Poughkeepsie, north of New York City. It cites police as saying shots were fired inside and outside of the hotel. Kutz, who was hit in the chest and torso, was taken to the city's MidHudson Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No one else was injured. It's not clear what led up to the gunfire, but two suspects have been arrested. Poughkeepsie Police Chief Joseph Cavaliere says the men, IDed as 35-year-old Roy Johnson and 26-year-old Devin Taylor, didn't appear to have known Kutz, per the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Police say both suspects appear to be homeless, and they were said to have been staying at the hotel, though it's not clear how long they'd been there or if their stay was courtesy of a community housing program. Both have rap sheets: Per state corrections records, Johnson has felony convictions for first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary, while Taylor has served time on third-degree burglary charges. A statement from Poughkeepsie police notes that during a search of the hotel after the shooting, a 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." The Journal says police confirmed the room was the one that Johnson and Taylor were staying in.

Johnson, the alleged gunman, has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies, according to a complaint. Taylor has been charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Both suspects are set to appear in court Friday. Kutz's friends and neighbors in his small hometown on Long Island say they're devastated by the news. "Paul was a great guy," a distraught Joseph Farrell, Kutz's next-door neighbor for two decades, tells CBS2. "I'm gonna miss seeing his face. His family is destroyed for no reason." In a Sunday statement, Marist College offered its "deepest condolences" to Kutz's loved ones, per the Journal. (Read more fatal shooting stories.)

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