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Crime News Breaking News

NY College Student Elizabeth Howell Was Shot Multiple Times In Drive-By Shooting, Police Say

Police say they have not found "any connection" between victim Elizabeth Howell and suspect Michael Snow, who was taken into custody Saturday. 

By Jill Sederstrom
Elizabeth Howell Fb

SUNY-Potsdam music student Elizabeth “Beth” Howell was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Friday night, in what investigators believe was a seemingly random attack.

Witnesses heard three gunshots being fired from a grey four-door sedan around 5:45 p.m. Friday as Howell was walking down College Park Road, according to a statement from Potsdam Police.

The 21-year-old music major was struck multiple times and “fled a short distance on foot,” before falling to the ground along the road. Patrol officers found her “unresponsive” a short time later.

Although life-saving efforts were administered by emergency responders, Howell was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.  

The suspected shooter, Michael J. Snow, was arrested the following day at his Village of Massena home after “leads” developed after the fatal shooting led investigators to the 31-year-old, police said.

Beau Duffy, director of public information for the New York State Police, told Oxygen.com Tuesday that investigators do not believe Snow knew Howell.

“At this point, we have not found any connection between the victim and the suspect,” he said.

Howell’s father, Joe Howell, told The New York Post he believed his daughter was simply at the “wrong place, wrong time.”

“She was the type of person that didn’t have enemies, and certainly no one that would want to kill her,” he said.

Her mother, Ann Howell, told Fox News she had spoken to her daughter just hours before the fatal shooting, which occurred feet away from the campus of the Crane School of Music where Howell had been studying to become a music teacher.

“She has a close-knit circle of friends there, and she’s a music major—she either spent time in class, or rehearsal, or practicing, or with her friends,” Ann said, adding that there was “no connection” to Snow.

The accomplished cellist was also a member of the school’s Crane Symphony Orchestra and loved to dance and swim.

“She was the most amazing daughter a person could hope to have,” her mother said.

Although Ann Howell said the family has been “devastated” by the tragedy, she said they are “very grateful for the support that we have from friends, family and the community.”

Michael Snow Pd

The New York State Police is still trying to piece together Snow’s movements the day of the fatal shooting. They believe Snow drove through Potsdam, Hopkinton, Malone, Westville, Hogansburt and Massena between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Friday night, according to a statement from authorities.

Investigators have asked that anyone who may have seen Snow’s gray Honda Civic, bearing license plate KVE2731, contact authorities at (518) 873-2750.

Michael Snow Car Pd

Snow, who is facing charges of second-degree murder, is currently being held without bail at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility, police said.

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