Documents: Woman feared suspect in Schenectady shooting

He threatened to kill her and her children if she left him, she told police in April
Police respond to Tuesday's shooting on Union Street
Police respond to Tuesday's shooting on Union Street

SCHENECTADY — A woman who was shot Tuesday afternoon, along with two of her children, told police in April that she feared for her life and the lives of her kids after her boyfriend attacked and threatened her.

“I am scared because he has told me that if I leave him, he is going to kill me and my children, and I know he has a revolver,” the woman, 35, told police after the April 11 incident, according to court documents.

Police said the boyfriend, 47-year-old Deshawn Howard, of Schenectady, opened fire on the woman and two of her children, ages 7 and 16, on Tuesday.

Even as investigators were probing the crime scene Wednesday afternoon, Schenectady Police Sgt. Matt Dearing, spokesman for the police department, said status of the victims from Tuesday’s shooting was still guarded.

The Daily Gazette was unable to confirm the status of the victims with area hospitals.

Dearing also said there was no update in the status of the woman who was taken into custody from the home on Union Street.

Howard, who was arrested later Tuesday with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound, has yet to be charged, as police investigate. He remains in custody.

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In the April incident, police arrived at 1373 Union St. just before 9 a.m. after getting a report that Howard punched the woman repeatedly.

The incident resulted in multiple misdemeanor charges against Howard, a two-day jail stay on $1,000 bail and a full stay-away order of protection for both the woman and her children, records show.

Police have yet to identify those injured in Tuesday’s shooting, but Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney confirmed the woman who was shot Tuesday is the same person who was attacked in the April incident.

Carney also confirmed police obtained a search warrant for the 1373 Union St. residence in an attempt to find the gun the woman spoke about. They did not find a firearm.

Howard is listed in April paperwork as living at 1373 Union St., but newspaper records based on the police arrest log list him then as living on Veeder Avenue. He was also arrested in April at a McClyman Street address. It was unclear if attempts were made to search those locations for a weapon.

Howard’s first name is also spelled two ways related to the April incident — as Deshawn Howard and Dushawn Howard. He has also been listed in prior cases as Sean Howard, records show.

Court records show Howard has disregarded orders of protection in the past related to a different woman. In 2015, he was twice charged with violating full stay-away orders and spent just over four months in jail as a result, records show. He violated an order of protection that May by sending an Instagram request to her.

Then, in July 2015, he was charged with felony contempt after he was accused of following that woman to her Hamilton Hill residence. When he got out of his car, she pepper sprayed him, fearing for her safety, according to court documents filed in that case. In both 2015 cases, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal contempt.

The exact origins of those orders of protection could not be determined Wednesday, but in February 2015, he was charged with violation harassment, accused of threatening to kill her over an earlier incident involving them where that woman “filed for another warrant,” apparently against Howard, according to court documents.

Prior to those cases, Howard spent three stints in state prison dating back to 1992, one stint each for robbery, attempted weapons possession and drugs, records show. His most recent stint came after a 2006 Schenectady County drug possession case where he served two years, six months.

In the April 2018 case at 1373 Union St., police charged Howard with assault, obstructing governmental administration and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors.

He was accused of punching the woman with three of her children present in the room, one of them age 7.

Carney said he believed two of the children were not Howard’s, but he said he believed the 1-year-old was.

The woman suffered swelling and bruising under her left eye and was treated by Schenectady Fire Department paramedics, records show.

Police arrested Howard shortly after the incident, as he hid in the basement of a McClyman Street building. He refused to comply with officers’ commands to come out, an allegation that resulted in the obstructing charge.

The case is pending, and Howard was due in court for the start of a trial on July 16, according to Carney.

The woman told police after the April incident that Howard was her boyfriend, and she had been staying at a friend’s house because Howard had become increasingly violent, according to police paperwork filed in court.

She went back to the home that morning to get some belongings and Howard was there. An argument erupted “about his drug addiction,” the police report states. Howard also refused her access to a safe that contained important papers.

She “is scared for her safety and the safety of her children (due) to seeing (Howard) in possession of a handgun recently and possibly a shotgun,” the police report states.

The woman then went to the police station to speak with detectives about the handgun she said she saw, according to the report. She asked for the order of protection and to speak with a domestic violence advocate. She also indicated she had a safe place to stay and would think about the domestic violence shelter at a later time, according her statement to police.

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Categories: -News-, Schenectady County

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