POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — More details have been released regarding the murder that took the life of a SUNY Potsdam student Elizabeth Howell on Friday, February 18.

According to the Potsdam Police Department, patrols responded to a report of shots fired on College Park Road in the village.

5:45 p.m., February 18, 2022

Police said that on the scene, witnesses reported hearing three shots fired from a grey four-door sedan and patrols were directed to the victim who had fled a short distance on foot.

However, the victim, identified as 21-year-old Elizabeth Howell of Patterson, New York was found down and unresponsive at the corner of College Park Road and East Drive.

Police officers then began providing emergency assistance and were joined by SUNY Potsdam University Police.

The care of Howell was eventually turned over to the Potsdam Rescue Squad and she was transported to Canton-Potsdam Hospital where she later died.

Howell was a student at SUNY Potsdam where she studied music education at the Crane School of Music. She was also a cellist who performed with the Crane Symphony Orchestra.


The initial investigation was led by the Potsdam Police Department and the St. Lawrence Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division as personnel searched for the murder suspect. Video evidence of the murder was then distributed to additional responding officers.

The New York State Police Major Crimes unit then took the lead on the case and a command post was established at the Potsdam Police Department. Police confirmed that leads began coming together and the suspect was identified.

4:30 p.m., February 19, 2022

Police obtained a series of search warrants and the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Michael J. Snow of Massena, was taken into custody.

the New York State Police Special Operations Response team arrested Snow at his residence on February 19 at his home located at 250 Main Street in the Village of Massena.

Michael J. Snow, suspect charged for the murder of SUNY Potsdam student Elizabeth Howell (photo: Potsdam Police Department)

Snow was taken to the Potsdam Town Court for arraignments before Judge James Mason on the charge of Murder in the Second Degree. He was remanded to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility without bail.


This is being labeled as a criminal homicide investigation and remains ongoing.

Potsdam residents are being asked to review any home or business video surveillance systems for evidence of Snow or his vehicle in the area in the hour prior to the February 18 shooting. An image of his vehicle is included below:

The vehicle driven by Michael J. Snow prior to the murder of SUNY Potsdam student Elizabeth Howell, February 18, 2022. (photo: Potsdam Police Department.

Information can be sent to the New York State Police Information Office by email at pio@troopers.ny.gov.

The Potsdam Police Department also released the following statement regarding the incident, expressing their condolences to the Potsdam community.

The Potsdam Police Department wished to express their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Elizabeth Howell. Elizabeth was a SUNY Potsdam student who was loved by many. We would like to also express our sincerest gritidue to our law enforcement partners who came together to work tirelessly on this investigation.

Potsdam Police Department.

Members of the New York State Police, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, St. Lawrence County District’s Attorneys Office and SUNY Potsdam University Police all assisted in the search investigation.

All the above details were confirmed in a press release issued by the Potsdam Police Department on February 21, 2022.

ABC50 will continue to provide details on this homicide investigation as information is released.