This story was written by Kelsey O’Connor and Jolene Almendarez.
Update: 11:52 a.m. — The man suspected of killing a 52-year-old UPS driver early Thursday morning has been safely apprehended.
The identies of the victim and suspect have not been released yet.
In another press conference at 11 a.m., police announced the successful capture of the shooting suspect. Police are not looking for any other suspects. Police released further details of how the suspect was apprehended.
After a shooting at Wal-Mart, reported at 12:52 a.m. Thursday, the suspect fled to a residence off of Route 366. The suspect allegedly shot at two police officers with a long gun when he arrived at what is believed to be his residence. The officers were not injured.
A barricade was established around the residence and a robot was used to communicate with the suspect. The suspect was barricaded for several hours before surrendering. Police said they do not believe anyone else was in the residence with the suspect.
At about 9:43 a.m., the suspect surrendered to police, Sheriff Ken Lansing said at the news conference. The suspect is in custody and will be arraigned later in the day.
After the suspect is arraigned, Lansing said more details will be released.
The victim was a 52-year-old UPS driver from Candor, police said. Ithaca Police Chief John Barber said the victim’s name may not be released until Friday.
Barber credited the successful apprehension to having a well-trained tactical and negotiations team.
“We had a skilled and trained negotiator operating the robot and communicating directly with our suspect this morning,” Barber said.
Barber said they were able to insert the robot into the residence and “get a dialogue going.” He added that as a result of that dialogue, the suspect surrendered peacefully.
“He came out the front door of his residence where we were able to take him into custody without any further harm to anybody,” Barber said. “The community is in a safer place right now with this man off the street. There’s a lot of work ahead of us that we need to get done.”
Discussing the two officers that were shot at Thursday morning, Barber said “I think it’s an important reminder that these officers go out on the street every day, 24 hours a day, and do a very dangerous job.”
Police said it is too early to know what the motive of the suspect was, or whether the suspect and victim knew each other.
Traffic notice: The roads in the area have reopened, and TCAT Routes 40 and 43 are operating normally again. Lansing also said it is safe for people in the neighborhood to return home.
View the full video of the press conference here.
A long list of agencies have assisted with the investigation, including the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, Ithaca Police Department, New York State Police, Cayuga Heights Police Department, New York State Park Police, New York State Police Aviation Unit, New York State Police Forensic Identification Unit, New York State Police Major Crimes Unit, Ithaca SWAT Team, Cornell University Police Department, Dryden Police Department, Dryden Ambulance, Bangs Ambulance, New York State Crisis Negotiating Unit, Syracuse Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tompkins County Mental Health, Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office and the Onondaga County Sheriffs Department.
Update: 9:50 a.m. — Police say the homicide suspect is in custody as of 9:50 a.m.
Update: 8:50 a.m. — A UPS driver was shot and killed outside of Wal-Mart, Ithaca Police Chief John Barber said at a news conference Thursday morning. The suspect is currently staked out in what is believed to be his residence off of Route 366.
At about 8:30 a.m., Barber addressed reporters at the County Fire and Rescue Building on Brown Road in Ithaca.
He said officers responded to a report of a shooting at 12:52 a.m. Thursday in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Ithaca. When officers arrived, they found one man who was down in the parking lot. Barber said police quickly developed information about the suspect involved in the crime.
The suspect allegedly shot a 52-year-old UPS driver and then drove over him with his vehicle and then fled the area, Barber said.
A BOLO, or Be on the Look Out, was issued and two Cayuga Heights police officers saw a vehicle matching the description by Stewart Park traveling north on Route 13.
“The officers pulled out behind the vehicle and up near the area of Route 13 and 366 they attempted to make a felony vehicle stop,” Barber said.
The officers activated their lights and sirens and the vehicle turned off onto Route 366, where it traveled about a quarter of a mile and drove into a driveway.
Barber said the male driver of the vehicle exited with a long gun, turned, and fired one round at the police officers that were pursuing him.
The suspect then retreated to a residence. That residence is currently contained by tactical teams, Barber said.
“We have negotiators on scene and we’re trying to bring this situation to a safe resolution,” Barber said.
Traffic notice: Route 366 is closed from Turkey Hill Road to the Route 13 intersection near NYSEG. The affected area has been cordoned off and the neighborhood is being evacuated. TCAT Routes 40 and 43 are being detoured. Those routes will be using a smaller bus to pick up regular inbound stops through Varna at 7:26 a.m., 7:51 a.m., 9:01 a.m. and 9:31 a.m. TCAT is unable to serve any outbound Route 40 and 43 trips through Varna until further notice.
Live Coverage of Press Conference
Update: 8:18 a.m. — There will be a live press conference at 8:30 a.m. Check back here for the live video, or visit our Facebook page.
Update: 4:55 a.m. — Police Chief John Barber confirmed in a press briefing Thursday morning that a homicide suspect fled the scene of a deadly shooting and fired a long gun at police early Thursday morning.
Barber said that after the fatal shooting that happened at the Ithaca Wal-Mart near Route 13, police “quickly developed information on a possible suspect.”
A BOLO — or Be On the Look Out — was issued and a Cayuga Heights and police officers saw a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle believed to be involved in the incident traveling north on Route 13. They attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver fled for about a quarter of a mile up 366 West and pulled into the driveway of a home.
“The suspect exited the vehicle with a long gun and fired one round, we believe one round, in the direction of the police officers,” Barber said. Officers have not fired any gunshots back at of about 5 a.m. and nobody was injured during the shooting.
Police are still at the scene, including officials from the Ithaca Police Department, the sheriff’s office, and New York State Police. New York State Police forensics are handling the homicide at the Ithaca Wal-Mart.
Barber said a multi-agency investigation is still underway this morning, and police are attempting to find a “safe resolution” to the incident.
Officials are asking people to avoid the 1200 block of Dryden Road and 366 West.
Emergency personnel have notified TCAT, the Ithaca City School District and Dryden School District of the road closures and incidents.
Update 4:04 a.m. — The Ithaca Police Department has confirmed that a deadly incident at the Ithaca Wal-Mart appears to be a homicide.
Ithaca Police Department Deputy Chief Vince Monticello said from the scene at the Ithaca Wal-Mart, “I’m just going to tell you we’re investigating a homicide.”
A separate source familiar with the investigation confirmed that police initially responded to the scene for reports of shots fired. The source said the suspect fled from the scene and that the large police presence on 366 West i related to the homicide.
ITHACA, N.Y. — Police are at the scene of a fatal incident in front of the Ithaca Wal-Mart as of at least 1:45 a.m. Thursday morning.
Police crime scene tape is up at the scene, located at 135 Fairgrounds Memorial Parkway, and at least one deceased person can be seen laying on the ground draped in a white sheet.
The Ithaca Police Department and Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department are both at the scene. Bangs Ambulance and the Ithaca Fire Department was seen leaving the area.
At about the same time, there was a large police presence at the Valero gas station on Dryden Road near Route 366. As of 2:50 a.m., both westbound lanes on Route 366 were closed.
Officers were seen carrying long guns.
Officers from the Ithaca Police Department, New York State Police, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and State Park Police were near the gas station.
It is unclear if the two incidents are related at this time. As of 3:24 a.m., police have not made any official comment.
This is a developing story.