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Neighbors remember man killed by stray bullet in hotel during family weekend

By Carolyn Gusoff

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    EAST NORTHPORT, New York (WCBS) — More is being learned about the innocent victim killed by a stray bullet at a Poughkeepsie hotel on Sunday morning.

Paul Kutz, a hotel guest, was visiting his son for family weekend at Marist College. As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday, he was beloved in his East Northport hometown.

“Paul was a great guy. I’m gonna miss seeing his face. His family is destroyed for no reason,” next-door neighbor Joseph Farrell said.

Farrell was inconsolable. For some two decades he considered Kutz part of the fabric of the neighborhood. Kutz is gone now, Farrell said, for nothing.

“Now three kids and a wife, dead. I see them out here all the time. Just an absolute shame,” Farrell said.

“Paul is an amazing man, nicest guy you’ll ever meet, and all about his family. This is tragic,” neighbor Erik Jensen said.

Court documents identified Kutz as the innocent victim of the hotel disturbance. He was shot in the chest at a Courtyard by Marriott. The 53-year-old was an accountant in practice in Great Neck with a brother. The father of twins, who graduated from Marist, had a younger son he was visiting on family weekend.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy that has taken place. On behalf of the entire New York State Society of CPAs, including his home chapter of Nassau County, we offer our condolences to Paul Kutz’s family, friends, colleagues and everyone who loved him,” said Calvin Harris Jr., CEO of NYSSCPA.

Police say the two suspects, both homeless and staying at the hotel, had criminal records, illegal guns and bomb-making materials.

“The suspect did not know the victim. We believe it’s a random act and that’s, at this point, all we’re going to comment on about that at this time,” a law enforcement official said Monday.

Neighbors grappling with the news called Kutz a very involved father, adding for years he was seen playing baseball and hockey with his sons in the driveway. They have been left wondering how a happy family weekend could end the way it did.

“Not dealing with the homeless, not having a solution to deal with this, is just an absolute disgrace,” Farrell said.

Other neighbors told Gusoff they were simply too distraught to speak about the tragedy. The Kutz family has asked for time and privacy.

Dutchess County officials say the homeless suspects were not known to them nor placed in that hotel. The county does not work with the Courtyard by Marriott for any housing services.

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