Patrick Dai '24 to remain in custody in Broome Court following his detention hearing on Nov. 9.

November 9, 2021

North Campus Shelters in Place Following Alert of Man With Gun in Cayuga Heights

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This post has been updated. 

At around 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday, the Cornell community received a CornellALERT for people on North Campus to “shelter in place.”

“CornellALERT: Ithaca Campus Shelter in Place – North Campus – Local Police persuing [sic] man with gun in Cayuga Heights north of campus,” the alert read. 

The alert came as many classes let out at 2:15 p.m., and students walked out onto the quads on Central Campus. At 3:28 p.m., Cornell police sent a second alert clarifying the bounds of the shelter-in-place notice: “Anyone currently on North Campus (North of Fall Creek Gorge) should shelter in place — stay inside; lock doors and windows,” it read.

Currently the shelter-in place notice only applies to North Campus, but across campus, some classes have been canceled until further notice and Mann Library was put on lockdown. The University has not provided further information about classes for the rest of the day, and many remain in session.

Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit also halted buses on North Campus — prompting detours on routes 32 and 31-41 — until further notice, according to a TCAT press release. Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High School are also in shelter-in-place notices, according to the Ithaca City School District Twitter.

At approximately 3 p.m., Cornell Dining closed seven dining locations on North and Central Campus — Franny’s, Green Dragon, Bear Necessities, Crossings Cafe, North Star, Robert Purcell Market Eatery and Risley. But Cornell has not provided other updates, nearly 70 minutes after the initial alert.

At 1:56 p.m., a Tompkins County Swift911 alert issued a similar shelter-in-place notice in Cayuga Heights due to “police operation.” But another alert at 3:19 p.m., sent in all caps, narrowed the shelter in place to a one-mile radius around 511 Cayuga Park Road in Cayuga Heights. 

The call to shelter in place comes following a Sunday bomb threat on Central Campus that was deemed “not credible” and a similarly not credible threat of a shooting at Ithaca High School on earlier on Tuesday.  

The Mental Health at Cornell website provides a range of campus, local, and national resources to support student mental health and community well-being. Students in need of professional mental health support can call Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 607-255-5155 and employees can call the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. The Ithaca-based Crisisline is also available at 607-272-1616.