Upstate New York college student shot dead off campus – law enforcement officer


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POTSDAM, N.Y. – A student at an upstate New York university was fatally shot on a street just off campus by a suspect believed to have no affiliation with the university, authorities say.

Elizabeth Howell, 21, has been identified as the murder victim. She died Friday after being shot on the side of College Park Road, New York State Police said.

“On February 18, 2022, at approximately 5:51 p.m., Potsdam police responded to a report of an unconscious woman on College Park Road in the village,” NYSP said in the press release. “Responder patrols located the 21-year-old victim lying on the side of the road with gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to the Potsdam cantonal hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Howell was a music education major at State University New York (SUNY) in Potsdam, the New York Post reported.

The suspect charged in the homicide is 31-year-old Michael J. Snow. He was arrested on Saturday and charged with second-degree murder, police said.

Michael J. Snow has been arrested and charged with second degree murder. (Twitter/Brian Dwyer, Spectrum News 1 via New York Post)

It was not immediately clear if Snow and Howell knew each other. However, the university said Snow had “no affiliation with the College, whether as a student, employee or graduate.”

The school noted, “Beth was a cellist who played with the Crane Symphony Orchestra, and she was a budding educator with a bright future ahead of her. No words can express the sadness we share as a university community at this tragic loss.

Howell is from Patterson in Putnam County. The cellist was due to graduate this year, the university added, according to the Post.

SUNY Potsdam has canceled classes for Monday. They also canceled or postponed various activities as the campus mourns Howell’s death, designating the school’s Crane School of Music Concert Hall as a memorial space.

Elizabeth Howell was a music education student at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music and was due to graduate this year.Elizabeth Howell was a music education student at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music and was due to graduate this year. (Facebook)

Snow was arraigned in Potsdam City Court and then returned to St. Lawrence County Jail without bond.

Potsdam is in St. Lawrence County, 30 miles from the US border with Canada.

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