Update (12:30 p.m.): Ithaca police have identified the victim in last night’s shooting on West Seneca Street.

Ernest Lankford, 45 years old of Ithaca, was killed early Thursday morning. Police have started a homicide investigation and confirmed that Lankford was shot multiple times. Police said the shooting was not random, but did not disclose any other details, including a suspect description.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact them. Those who wish to can remain anonymous.

Several residents neighboring the crime scene interviewed by The Ithaca Voice stated they were sleeping during the event and were not aware of further details. Two said they heard the gunshots but did not see anything in the aftermath.

One neighbor told The Ithaca Voice they heard gunshots around 3:45 a.m. and called police quickly. They said it appeared police had found seven shell casings in the roadway while collecting evidence.

The killing is the second in that specific area in the last 18 months. Teheran Forest was killed at the intersection of State and Plain Streets in March 2022, one block from where the shooting took place Thursday. There have been no arrests in Forest’s death.

Original Story (11 a.m.):

ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca Police are investigating a fatal incident that took place near the intersection of North Plain Street and West Seneca Street early Thursday morning.

Ithaca Police Lt. Derek Necheporek did not confirm details when approached at the scene Thursday, but a body was visible under a sheet at the scene. Necheporek said police were still investigating the incident and could not release any information, but that a press release would be published later Thursday.

As of 9:45 a.m., police were still investigating the scene.

Police scanner archives provide some more clarity on the chain of events. IPD dispatched all units to the 200 block of North Plain Street around 3:45 a.m. for a shots fired report. Soon after, a SIREN alert was issued telling the public to avoid the area due to police activity. Necheporek said that police began setting up a crime scene set up around 4 a.m.

According to the scanner, police found a person lying in the roadway suffering from a gunshot wound shortly after responding, and medical personnel were called. The person in the roadway was declared dead on the scene minutes later.

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.

Jimmy Jordan is Senior Reporter for The Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact him at jjordan@ithacavoice.org Connect with him on Twitter @jmmy_jrdn