Father killed in crossfire while visiting his son at college in upstate NY

The father of three sons was killed on Sunday morning when he was caught in the middle of a shootout in a hotel lobby in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Paul Kutz, 53, was visiting one of his boys at Marist College, which was having its annual Family Weekend. Students, especially freshmen, invite their families for a special slate of activities, like a college version of an “open house.”

When he went down to the lobby for coffee at 7:30 that morning, a suspect was arguing with hotel workers, which escalated. Finding himself in the crossfire, Kutz was shot in the chest. Following the shooting, he was rushed to MidHudson Regional Hospital in Poughkeepsie and pronounced dead.

Two men, who were apparently staying together in the hotel, were arrested for the shooting. Both reportedly have gang ties. Both have criminal priors.

NBC reports that Roy Johnson, 35, was charged with murder. His gun had an illegal 30-round magazine and a switch that converted it into a fully automatic weapon, according to senior law enforcement officials. The gun was found on top of his car after the shooting.

Devin Taylor, 26, is also under arrest for criminal weapons charges. The men were already suspected of a previous murder and robbery.


Police said they later found a “ghost gun” rifle in the suspects’ room. They also found bomb-making materials, including Tannerite, along with instructions on how to make a bomb.

It is a fine example of how criminals will always gain access to deadly weapons whether they are outlawed or not. No gun control law would have prevented this.

CBS spoke to Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, who said the suspects “are known to law enforcement, having no association with the parent of student that we are aware of, and we do not believe that it is affiliated or associated with activities at Marist.”

It is frightening to think of what the criminals had in mind for the bomb material, which was found after the building was evacuated.

Other Marist students were understandably in shock over the incident.

“My mom came visiting. It was just scary because it could have been anyone,” freshman Jack Oakley told CBS. “It could have been a bad incident with the bomb thing.”

“I was very scared because my family came all the way from St. Louis,” said freshman Henry Merli. “I feel terrible for the family. It’s awful.”

The victim, Paul Kutz, had been married to his wife Nathalie Landrein Kutz. A CPA and CFP, he had a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics and a Master’s in taxation. He ran an accounting firm with his brother.

Marist released a statement the following day:

“Yesterday morning, authorities made us aware of the tragic, fatal shooting of a parent of a Marist student at a local hotel several miles from campus. Our deepest condolences go out to the family, and we are offering the full support of the Marist community.”

New York continues to reel from rising crime, even upstate, leading one Twitter user to comment, “Hochul’s NY – New Normal.”

Others weighed in, too, including this one:


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