ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person who shot and killed John Ray Lawton, 45 years old of Ithaca, late on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Lawton was killed in the 500 block of West State Street around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, Ithaca’s first homicide since the summer of 2019.

Police are asking for any witnesses of the incident to come forward, specifically asking for someone they say was walking a dog near the intersection of Corn Street and West Green Street around the time of the shooting. Anyone who was in the area of Corn Street between West Seneca Street and West Clinton Street is encouraged to get in touch with IPD’s Investigative Division.

The police department can be reached at:

Police Dispatch: 607-272-3245
Police Administration: 607-272-9973
Police Tipline 607-330-0000
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Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at