Student Stabbing on Cornell Campus Rocks Ithaca

(Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

An Ithaca College student was killed while another was injured after being stabbed during a fight that took place on the campus of Cornell University in the early morning on Sunday.

Around 2 am, Cornell University Police were called to Olin Hall, which houses students enrolled in the school’s chemical and biomolecular engineering programs.  A news release from the police said that two students were found inside, each of whom had been stabbed.  While one student had been slashed in the face, the other had been stabbed several times.

Police went on to say that the fight was a result of a student-organized event on the campus, which took place at Willard Straight Hall, the student union.  Hundreds of students attended the event, which saw a number of physical altercations break out after it ended.

The name of the event is still unknown.  CNN reports that the only events listed on the student union’s calendar for Saturday night were movie screenings, with nothing listed for Sunday before 8 am.  The event is believed to have been an orientation week party hosted by the Cornell chapter of Omega Psi Phi, reports Keri Blakinger for The New York Daily News.

The victims were treated by first responders while police obtained the weapon involved in the incident.  No suspects have been found as of yet.

Both victims were confirmed by Ithaca College President Tom Rochon to be students at the school.  One victim was sent to Cayuga Medical Center for “serious injuries” of which the student later died.  The other victim was flown to Upstate Medical Center, a regional trauma center.  That student was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

The student who passed away was found to be 19-year-old Anthony Nazaire from Brooklyn.  The sophomore had been studying business administration.

“He graduated from Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, and at (Ithaca College) he was a member of the executive board of Brothers4Brothers, a student organization dedicated to empowering men of color on our campus,” Rochon’s statement said.

The name of the injured student, who was released after treatment, has not been made public.

Police said that a homicide investigation is currently underway.  They urge anyone who may have witnessed something pertaining to the fight, or filmed a portion of it with their cell phone, to contact the Ithaca Police Department right away, adding that those who come forward can remain anonymous if they wish to do so.  They said surveillance footage showed a number of people recording the fight on their phones.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our community; as such, this incident is deeply disturbing,” said Ryan Lombardi, Cornell’s vice president for student and campus life, in a statement posted online. “Please be sure to take care of yourselves and each other throughout the coming days.”

The stabbing is the first murder to happen within the town in the past five years.

Ithaca College will be holding a vigil to honor the life of Nazaire, and plans to offer counseling for students.