Jul. 13—Delhi's Main Street and Farmers Market were evacuated Wednesday morning, July 13, after a threat of a possible shooting was called in to 911.
Village of Delhi Police Chief Mike Mills said 911 received a call around 10:30 a.m. about a "possible person coming to Delhi on a motorcycle to the courthouse to shoot people."
According to a media release issued by Mills, the person was coming from Walton.
The Delhi Farmers Market was taking place at the time of the call, so Mills said he "immediately got other agencies involved."
He said officers cleared out the farmers market and "gradually expanded the perimeter of the locked down area."
He said the courthouse, county buildings along Main Street and local businesses, including a bank adjacent to the Courthouse Square, were notified of the threat and initiated their own lockdown procedures; as did the schools. He said Main Street was closed between Meredith and Kingston streets. Second, Court, Church and High streets were also closed to traffic, he said.
Mills said the person suspected of making the threat was found and questioned, as was the person who heard the threat and called 911. After interviewing both people, officers determined "no actual threat had been made and no one was in danger," he said.
He said once the investigation revealed there was no danger, the area was cleared "shortly after noon" and vendors and patrons made their way back to the farmers market.
"I want to thank the vendors," Mills said. "They were very cooperative and safely evacuated quickly."
Mills said the village police department was assisted by the State Police, Delaware County Sheriffs Department, University Police from SUNY Delhi, the State Police BCI unit and the state Court Officers.
Margaret Kennedy, who coordinates the farmers market said when people were told to evacuate, "everyone grabbed their bag or money box and left." Kennedy said she and several other vendors went to the Shire Pub to wait for the all clear to come back to the market. Kennedy said she was in contact with the vendors through email and cellphones, keeping them updated on the situation.
Mills said other vendors went to their cars or homes to wait for the OK to come back.
Jamie Francisco, owner of Hollow Winds Farm in Delhi, said she went "toward my car, then went to the river."
She said she wasn't surprised by the call as the courthouse is a "prime target." She added, "Luckily it wasn't the school."
Kathy Sullivan, owner of Burn Ayr Farm in Delhi, said she was surprised when her two employees called to tell her what was happening. "It's certainly a shocking experience. I was immediately concerned for their safety," she said.
She said one of her employees was concerned about what would happen to the produce she sells. "That was the least of our concerns," Sullivan said. "I told her to get to safety."
Carolyn Scobie of Brookside Maple & Farm in DeLancey, said before she left, she took photos of the maple products on the table and took her money box and went to SUNY Delhi's farm to wait. "I left my coffee sitting on the table," she said.
She said her son is a member of the Delhi Fire Department, so she has a scanner app on her cellphone and heard the police release the scene, so she came back to the market. She said when she got back she noticed Eleanor Blakeslee-Drain and Jenine Osbon of Berry Brook Farm were not back yet.
"People were lined up; they wanted their produce," Scobie said. "I told them they needed to have exact change and I collected it for them."
Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7221.