East Northport father Paul Kutz shot dead while visiting son at Marist College

An East Northport father visiting his son at Marist College in Poughkeepsie for a family weekend died after being shot by a stranger on Sunday morning at a nearby hotel, officials said.

A defendant faces a second-degree murder charge for allegedly shooting Paul Kutz, 53, in the chest and torso, Town of Poughkeepsie Police said, while a second defendant has been charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Both defendants were guests of the Courtyard by Marriott, about four miles from the Marist campus.

Kutz was pronounced dead at Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital after the gunfire, which broke out about 7:29 am

That was one minute before someone called 911, reporting a “disturbance” and shots fired.

Kutz was an accountant who founded a financial services company in Great Neck with his brother, Andrew, more than three decades ago, according to the company website.

“The Kutz family is grateful for the outpouring of love, support and kindness during this tragic time. They kindly request privacy, space and peace to process this devastating and unimaginable loss to their family,” they said in a statement released by a close friend, Maria Zouros.

“No further statements will be given at this time,” the statement said.

In searching the hotel, the police said they found a room with “manuals related to the making of explosive devices, as well as materials with the potential to be used as explosives.”

“While explosive components were found there were no explosive devices,” the police said in a news release, determining there was no “active threat to the public.”

The discovery of the bomb-making components brought in a number of other law enforcement agencies, including the New York State Police Bomb Squad and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The victim and the suspect were not known to each other,” the police said, adding their investigation has yet to conclude.

Roy A. Johnson, 35, was charged with two felonies: second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, the charging papers said.

Johnson, the charging papers said, “intentionally discharged a handgun at the victim, striking him in the chest and torso area, thus causing his death.”

No bail was set for Johnson, the charging papers said.

The second defendant, Devin M. Taylor, 26, was also charged with felony criminal possession of a weapon.

Taylor was remanded to the Dutchess County Jail with his bail set at $500,000 in cash, a $1 million bond or $5 million partially secured.

Both of the accused are homeless, the charging papers said.

Marist College, in a statement, said: “Sunday 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. We remain in contact with local authorities and will keep our community informed with any updates.”

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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