Editor’s note: The breaking news reported earlier has been consolidated into the article below. The original breaking news coverage can still be found at the bottom of the story.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Police have arrested a man they say is a “primary suspect” in a shooting that happened early Sunday morning in the Ithaca Commons.

“Our primary suspect is in custody,” Acting Police Chief Pete Tyler said.
Police were called to the Ithaca Commons around 1:20 a.m. to respond to reports of a shooting. A witness said one man was shot in his back and leg. Tyler said nobody else was injured during the shooting, and the victim was awake and conscious when he was transported to a hospital.
A witness — who spoke on the condition of anonymity while at the Ithaca Police Headquarters — said his friend was shot after a man bumped into his brother in front of Silk Jones, a bar on the Ithaca Commons.
“It started from a shoulder bump,” he said, and the man instantly became antagonistic toward him and his friend.
A screenshot from a video of police helping the man who was shot. Video/screenshot by witness Charlie Berrios. 

The man said the suspect told them, “What do you want to do?…I’m from Upstate. I’ll send you to God.”

The man said he tried to defuse the situation and pulled his brother across The Commons toward Sammy’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. Then they heard a gunshot.
He said he turned around and saw the suspect backing up and firing at someone several times before heading toward North Aurora Street and turning left. He went over toward where the man was lying on the ground and saw that his friend had been shot.
“We don’t even know this guy. We’re from out of town,” the man said, saying that they were in Ithaca from Jersey City to celebrate a friend’s birthday. He said there was no physical altercation between his friends and the shooter.
“These kids fly off the handle,” he said, shaking his head.

A witness at the scene, Charlie Berrios, 51, said he was directly outside the bar when the shooting happened and saw two men arguing.

“All of a sudden, a guy wanted to throw hands,” Berrios said, meaning that the shooter wanted to fight.

The other man said he didn’t have time for that and started walking toward South Cayuga Street.

Berrios then saw the man who wanted to fight pull out a gun and shoot the person walking away.

“He shot him three or four times,” Berrios said. “He started blasting. You saw the flames coming out the gun.”

Berrios said the shooter then allegedly shot toward people in the crowd before running away. Berrios also said he saw the man take a left on North Aurora Street.

Another man, Luke Urbanek, was seen in a video helping the man who’d been shot, allegedly, in the back. Ithaca Police escorted him to the IPD headquarters to make a statement.

Another woman, who asked to stay anonymous, said she exited an apartment on East Seneca Street, and heard several sounds that seemed like gunshots, but she wasn’t sure.

“A bunch of people flooded out from the Tioga Street exit (of The Ithaca Commons) and started running,” she said, and that’s when she knew something was wrong. So she ran with the crowd toward the intersection of North Cayuga and East Seneca streets.

There, she said the crowd stopped running but quickly began scattering again. She said she walked on North Cayuga Street and saw police crowded around the sidewalk near the Cornell Store at the end of The Commons.

“I saw a cop pointing a gun at somebody who was lying on the ground,” she said.

Another police officer had the person pinned to the ground and at least one other officer was assisting.

The woman said she saw police take the person into custody. She provided a video of the arrest to The Ithaca Voice, corroborating her story.

Tyler said the suspect is being interviewed and investigators are at a hospital with the man who was shot.

District Attorney Matt Van Houten arrived at IPD headquarters around 3:40 a.m.

A New York State Police Officer assists at the scene of a shooting early Sunday morning at The Ithaca Commons. Photo by Jolene Almendarez/The Ithaca Voice

The following is earlier reporting from when the scene was breaking. It contains the same information as the story above, but is being kept published to preserve the public record. 

Update at 3:35 a.m. — Ithaca Police have said that they took a man into custody after an early morning shooting in the Ithaca Commons.

“Our primary suspect is in custody,” Acting Police Chief Pete Tyler said.

He said the suspect was alive and conscious when he was transported to the hospital, and investigators at the hospital are in contact with the man.

Tyler said nobody else appears to have been shot at the scene, and officers are still in The Commons processing the scene.

District Attorney Matt Van Houten arrived at the scene around 3:40 a.m.

ITHACA, N.Y. — A man was shot in the Ithaca Commons early Sunday morning, allegedly after arguing with another man about a woman.

The incident happened around 1:23 a.m. in front of the popular downtown bar Silky Jones. The man was airlifted to a hospital.

A witness at the scene, Charlie Berrios, 51, said he was directly outside the bar and saw two men arguing, he thinks, about a woman.

“All of a sudden, a guy wanted to throw hands,” Berrios said, meaning that one of the men wanted to fight.

The other man said he didn’t have time for that and started walking toward South Cayuga Street.

Berrios then saw the man who wanted to fight pull out a gun and shoot the person walking away.

“He shot him three or four times,” Berrrios said. “He started blasting. You saw the flames coming out the gun.”

The shooter then allegedly shot toward people in the crowd before running away from the scene and taking a left on North Aurora Street.

Another man, Luke Urbanek, was seen in a video helping the man who’d been shot, allegedly, in the back. Ithaca Police escorted him to the IPD headquarters to make a statement.

Another woman, who asked to stay anonymous, said she exited an apartment on East Seneca Street, and heard several sounds that seemed like gunshots, but she wasn’t sure.

“A bunch of people flooded out from the Tioga Street exit and started running,” she said, and that’s when she knew something was wrong. So she ran with the crowd toward the intersection of North Cayuga and East Seneca streets.

There, she said the crowd stopped running but quickly began scattering again. She said she walked on North Cayuga Street and saw police crowded around the sidewalk near the Cornell Store at the end of The Commons.

“I saw a cop pointing a gun at somebody who was lying on the ground,” she said.

Another police officer had the person pinned to the ground and at least one other officer was assisting.

The woman said she saw police take the person into custody. She provided a video of the arrest to The Ithaca Voice, corroborating her story.

It’s unclear if anyone else was injured.

Ithaca police, New York State Police and the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department are currently at the scene.

This is a developing story. 

Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.