UPDATE (6:25 p.m. July 17) — Additional information from a media conference at 6 p.m. has been added to the story.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Local police continue to investigate a fatal stabbing at the apartments at 210 Lake St. in Ithaca. As of 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, the suspect remains at large.

From left, Lt. John Joly and Acting Chief Dennis Nayor. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)
From left, Lt. John Joly and Acting Chief Dennis Nayor. (Kelsey O’Connor/The Ithaca Voice)

Acting Chief Dennis Nayor for the Ithaca Police Department and Lt. John Joly held a press conference Wednesday evening to give a brief update. Nayor said police responded to a call for an injured person outside Auden Ithaca, previously known as the Gun Hill Apartments, at about 10:38 a.m. Wednesday, July 17. When officers arrived, they found a man outside the apartment complex who was bleeding and appeared to have stab wounds. The man was transported to Cayuga Medical Center, but died of his wounds, Nayor said.

At this time, police have not identified the victim or suspect.

Nayor said the investigation “is still fluid” and they are limited in the information they can provide.

Lake Street was closed for several hours Wednesday, but as of about 4:20 p.m. reopened. Cornell University Police said, “there is no longer an active threat but the suspect remains at large.”

The last description police had of the suspect, which Nayor said had not been confirmed, was that the suspect is a black or Hispanic man, about 5’6″ to 5’6″, muscular build, wearing a white t-shirt, jeans and tan Vans or similar style sneakers with a medium-cut afro. If anyone sees the suspect, they are advised to call 911 immediately and not approach him.

In a statement on Twitter, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said both the suspect and victim are from out of town and were here for the summer. “They both appeared to know each other very well – this was not a random attack,” Myrick wrote on Twitter.

At the media briefing, Nayor said they believe the incident was between two people who knew each other. “At this time, we don’t feel that there’s a threat to the community specifically because the people were known to each other,” he said.

He said police believe they were in Ithaca for work and staying at the apartments.

The company that now owns the apartments at 210 Lake St. called Auden Ithaca sent out a memo to apartment residents earlier stating the incident involved two employees hired by a third-party contractor. “These employees were engaged in an altercation leading to a stabbing.” Auden Ithaca said they are continuing to cooperate with law enforcement “to ensure the safety of all our residents and staff members.”

The statement further said current management recently acquired the property, which was formerly known as the Gun Hill Apartments, and plans to add additional security measures and cameras but “unfortunately this incident has transpired prior to completion of this work.”

Ithaca Police, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and Cornell Police continue to investigate the incident.

Lt. Joly said, “This is something that we’re continuing to work through, we’re going to continue to work through the night and until we find a resolution for this. We’re working jointly with the other agencies in the county. … We are following all the leads we have at this time, and if anybody sees somebody they believe fits this description, please call 911 so that we can follow up on it.”

Anyone with information that could aid the investigation is encouraged to contact the Ithaca Police Department.

This story was last updated at 6:30 p.m. It will be updated as more information becomes available.

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.