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SUNY Potsdam student shot and killed in drive-by 


It was around 5:51 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 18 when the sound of gunshots echoed across the SUNY Potsdam campus, and tragically, Elizabeth Howell was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

Howell, a music education major, was walking off campus when she fell victim to a drive-by shooting and was shot three times. The 21-year-old SUNY Potsdam senior had initially fled a short distance after being struck before collapsing at the corner of College Park Road and East Drive, according to the Potsdam Police Department.  

Officials say the Potsdam police then began emergency lifesaving measures on the unresponsive student until the Potsdam Rescue Squad arrived. Howell was then taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where she died from severe injuries just before 7 p.m., according to SUNY Potsdam officials.  

The State Police Major Crimes then reportedly took lead in the case, identifying and obtaining a warrant for suspect Michael J. Snow, 31. He was eventually located and taken into custody around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19. 

Thanks to video evidence, Potsdam police were also able to identify his vehicle, a grey four-door Honda Civic. As this homicide investigation is ongoing, the Potsdam Police Department is asking for any additional information regarding this incident, as well as any video evidence placing Snow and his vehicle in the area prior to 5:45 p.m. that Friday. The vehicle in question has a damaged driver’s side door and aftermarket mirror with plates reading KVE-2731, according to authorities.  

Snow has been charged with second-degree murder and is currently being held at the St. Lawrence Correctional Facility without bail. 

State and Department of Environmental police searched along Route 11B Monday for the gun Snow used in Howell’s murder.  

Any additional information can be shared with the state police at (518) 873-2750.  

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Cambrie Eckert, News Editor
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