The 21-year-old SUNY Potsdam student from the Hudson Valley who was killed just off-campus was fatally shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting, according to new information released by police.
Putnam County resident Elizabeth Howell, age 21, who was a senior at SUNY Potsdam, was struck by three bullets that were fired from a gray, four-door Honda Civic at around 5:45 pm on Friday, Feb. 18, investigators from the Potsdam Police Department announced.
Police said that her alleged shooter, St. Lawrence County resident Michael J. Snow, of Massena, was seen driving the Honda before the shooting. It later passed through Potsdam, Hopkinton, Malone, Westville, Hogansburg, and Massena between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm on Feb. 18 in a near 90-mile arc.
First responders located Howell, a resident of the hamlet of Putnam Lake in the town of Patterson, lying on the side of the road with gunshot wounds, police said. She was transported to Canton Potsdam Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Witnesses said that they heard three gunshots fired from the gray Honda, and investigators ultimately identified Snow as a suspect and he was later apprehended.
Snow was ultimately tracked down by investigators and arrested at his Massena home at approximately 4:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 19.
Snow was charged with second-degree murder and remanded to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility without bail.
The investigation included members of the:
- New York State Police Major Crimes Division;
- New York State Police Patrol;
- New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation;
- st. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office;
- Homeland Security Investigations;
- st. Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office;
- SUNY Potsdam University Police.
Howell was a graduate of Brewster High School in Putnam County.
It remains unclear if Snow or Howell knew one another, but the school said that the alleged shooter had no affiliation with the school as “a student, employee, or graduate.”
According to reports, the gun used in the shooting has not yet been recovered as investigators continue to search for it.
Police said that the investigation into the fatal shooting is ongoing. Residents and business owners in the village where she was killed have been asked to review any surveillance systems for evidence of Snow and his vehicle.
“The Potsdam Police Department wished to express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Elizabeth Howell,” officials stated. “Elizabeth was a SUNY Potsdam student who was loved by many. We would like to also express our sincerest gratitude to our law enforcement partners who came together to work tirelessly on this investigation.”
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