Michael Wenye Li/Sun File Photo

On Nov. 9, Cayuga Heights and North Campus were ordered to shelter in place.

November 9, 2021

North Campus Shelters in Place Following Shots Fired. Here’s Everything We Know About the Police Search.

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North Campus remains sheltering in place due to the ongoing pursuit of an armed suspect by local law enforcement. The suspect is one of three — the other two have both been apprehended — involved in reports of gunfire early Tuesday, police say.

According to a Tuesday afternoon press release — marked “URGENT!” — from multiple local law enforcement agencies, police are actively searching the Village of Cayuga Heights.

The press release reads that, at approximately 1:23 p.m., Ithaca police officers arrived on the scene at 600 block of Hancock Street, responding to reports of gunfire in the area. Authorities have not located or identified gunshot victims, according to Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne, Cayuga Heights Police Chief Jerry Wright and Ithaca Police Department Chief John Joly.  

The release continues that suspects fled via vehicle traveling north on NY-13, before the vehicle left the road after being followed by a Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office member in a marked vehicle. The three suspects left the vehicle, with one being immediately apprehended and the other two fleeing on foot, according to the release.

Then, local law enforcement secured a perimeter, and “other members of the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office apprehended one of the fleeing suspects without incident,” the release reads. 

Pursuit for the third armed suspect continued, prompting the shelter-in-place notice for North Campus and Cayuga Heights. Cornell issued its first alert at 2:15 p.m., and Tompkins County sent a Swift911 alert at 1:56 p.m. 

The third suspect is still at large, as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.

As of 3:46 p.m., the shelter in place order at Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High School was lifted and all after school activities were canceled — allowing parents and caregivers to pick up their students. 

At Cornell, many students are still sheltering, with the North Campus alert still in place. The University has canceled Tuesday night prelims, as well as all North Campus events. 

According to Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina, the following buildings, in a one-mile radius of the last known location of the armed suspect, are still under the shelter in place: ​Acacia, Africana Center, Akwe:kon, Alpha Chi Sigma, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Zeta, Beta Theta Pi, Delta Chi, Ecology House, Kappa Delta Rho, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Mu, Pi Beta Phi, Pi Delta Psi, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Delta Tau, Tobin Field House, Wari Coop, Zeta Beta Tau and 150 Triphammer.

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.