Note: Updated at 1:40 p.m. to include comments from Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick and Tompkins Legislator Rich John.

ITHACA, NY – Ithaca officials are just as shocked — and just as in the dark — as most everyone else about the stabbings that occurred early Sunday morning on the Cornell Campus, one of which was fatal.

“It’s very shocking news,” said Alderperson Graham Kerslick, who represents the 4th ward, which includes Collegetown. “It’s obviously very sad, and our hearts go out to the family of the student.”

Kerslick said that he’s unaware of any further details, but that the mayor, Ithaca Police and the police departments of both Cornell and Ithaca College were investigating, and would likely release a press release later in the day.

Alderperson Steve Smith, also of the 4th ward, also said he didn’t have access to any information beyond what the police have officially released.

Smith said he was “very concerned” about the incident, adding that he hoped that the reported large size of the group surrounding the altercation was not a sign of anything too troublesome.

Update —

“It’s horrible news, obviously, this is something that’s so rare for us, you hope that it would never happen,” Mayor Svante Myrick said. “It’s horrible when relatively young people and students… it’s heartbreaking to see that loss of potential at such a young age.”

The last murder within the city of Ithaca occurred five years ago. There was also a murder in Cayuga Heights in 2014.

Myrick said his understanding is that the family has been notified but they are trying to make physical contact with the family, so as to have someone with the family when the names are released.

Myrick said he’s been in contact with Ithaca Police, IC President Tom Rochon, and the two campus police agencies since early this morning, and the agencies are working through leads and hoping to get a hold of a suspect.

Tompkins Legislator Rich John, who represents the Collegetown district (although not exactly location on the Cornell campus where the incident took place), added his voice in urging anyone with information to aid the police.

“It sounds like there are a lot of people there, and I hope that anyone who has information is coming to the police to help, get to the bottom of it,” he said, adding that the use of weapons is particularly scary. “It’s worrying, it’s very disturbing. I sure hope the police figure out who did this and we catch them.”

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.