UPDATE: Police still searching for suspect in Cayuga Heights after downtown gunfire, lockdowns lifted for local schools - The Ithaca Voice


This is a developing story. More details will be added here as they become available and verified.

Update (4:21 p.m.): Police have released a detailed description of the events that led to Tuesday’s ongoing search for a suspect in the Cayuga Heights area.

There was a report of gunshots in the 600 block of Hancock Street, which Ithaca Police responded to. According to police, the shots were reportedly exchanged between two groups of people, one group which fled in a car.

That car was then found by a Tompkins County Sheriffs Deputy, who attempted to stop the car. The car left the road way and came to rest in a residential yard near the intersection of The Parkway and Klinewoods Road, in the Village of Cayuga Heights.

One of the three occupants of the car was then immediately caught. Another, who fled on foot, was apprehended a time later without incident. Police are still searching for one suspect, who was described as a Black man with dreadlocks, about 6’1″ in height. The person was last seen running through residential yards near Upland and Cayuga Park Road. Police said they believe the man is armed.

Update (3:50 p.m.): The shelter in place order at Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Boynton Middle School, and Ithaca High School has been lifted.

The shelter-in-place at Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Boynton Middle School, and Ithaca High School has been lifted, and parents/caregivers can now pick up their students. Boynton and IHS will have a normal dismissal, however, all afterschool activities are canceled. https://t.co/qIAJfzazQ1

— Ithaca City School District (@IthacaNYSchools) November 9, 2021

Update: At 3:20pm, authorities said police are searching in the area of the 500 block of Cayuga Park Road and asked those within a mile to shelter in place. #twithaca

— 14850 Today (@14850today) November 9, 2021

Update (3:38 p.m.): Cornell University is confirming that there is someone armed travelling through Cayuga Heights. The University is telling everyone to shelter in place in North Campus or avoid the area.

CornellALERT: Ithaca campus. Person with gun in Cayuga Heights. North Campus shelter in place. Lock doors/windows. Avoid area. Check email for more details.

— Cornell University (@Cornell) November 9, 2021

Update (3:18 p.m.): Police have a helicopter flying over the vicinity of Cayuga Heights bolstering their pursuit of the suspect.

Credit: Matt Butler / The Ithaca Voice

Update (3:04 p.m.): Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) buses are sheltering in place on Cornell’s North Campus. There are about 10 buses stalled in their routes.

Real time updates on adjustments to bus routes can be found at TCAT’s Bus Tracker and at tcatbus.com.

Update (2:53 p.m.): Following shelter-in-place orders at three local schools and Cornell University’s North Campus related to what is some sort of police pursuit, Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT) is saying that an “emergency situation” in Cayuga Heights is prompting them adjust its routes through the area.

TCAT will not be serving stops along Triphammer Road between Jessup Road and Spruce Lane.

Real time updates on adjustments to bus routes can be found at TCAT’s Bus Tracker. and at tcatbus.com.

Original Story:

Three schools and Cornell University’s North Campus went into shelter-in-place operations Tuesday afternoon due to some sort of police pursuit.

Information about the actual crime police are investigating is sparse, but Boynton Middle School, adjacent Ithaca High School, Cayuga Heights Elementary School and Cornell University’s North Campus all entered into forms of lockdown. Cornell University put out a tweet just after 2 p.m. announcing a shelter in place. The incident did not take place inside of a school or on a campus, from what The Ithaca Voice can currently gather.

Meanwhile, IHS and Boynton both entered into lockdowns, and then a shelter-in-place order, during the afternoon, ostensibly due to the same incident that put Cornell into its shelter-in-place.

CornellALERT: Ithaca Campus Shelter in Place – North Campus – Local Police persuing man with gun in Cayuga Heights north of campus.

— Cornell University (@Cornell) November 9, 2021

ICSD also told parents and caregivers to not come pick up their students at this time, until further notice.

Due to a current police operation in the Cayuga Heights area, Cayuga Heights Elementary School, Boynton Middle School, and Ithaca High School are in shelter-in-place at this time. Parents/caregivers should not come to the buildings until further notice. pic.twitter.com/B18bvwdDWF

— Ithaca City School District (@IthacaNYSchools) November 9, 2021

This incident appears to be a dark, unfortunate coincidence with the threats IHS students received last night, and is not directly related to the phone calls threatening to “shoot up” the high school.