COVINGTON — A New York man is behind bars in St. Tammany Parish after he allegedly shot his estranged girlfriend and her father at their Covington-area home.
The woman was shot as she returned from church Tuesday night, officials said.
About 10:15 p.m. deputies responded to a 911 call from an address on Fitzsimmons Road near Covington.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. George Bonnett said the caller said that her daughter and husband had been shot by the daughter’s estranged boyfriend, Stephen Krell, 48, of Liverpool, N.Y..
Deputies arrived at the home and found the female victim on the floor in the kitchen with a gunshot wound to her chest, Bonnett said.
A bullet grazed her father’s head, Bonnett said.
The female was airlifted to a south shore hospital, Bonnett said; the father refused treatment at the scene.
Bonnett said Krell left the scene and surrendered to State Police Troop L.
Krell was booked on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, violation of a protective order and stalking. A judge set Krell’s bond at $400,000.
The woman was in guarded condition Wednesday at the hospital.
Bonnett said Krell was waiting for his girlfriend as she returned home from church late Tuesday. He shot the woman on the porch and then tried to kill himself, but the gun malfunctioned, Bonnett said.
While Krell was putting a new magazine into the gun, the woman’s father walked outside, at which point Krell fired at him, Bonnett said.
Bonnett said the couple had a history of domestic violence and that Krell was arrested Christmas Day for domestic abuse battery after an argument.
Since then the woman reported “several” incidents of harassing phone calls and an incident where Krell showed up at her parents’ home unannounced, Bonnett said.
Deputies with the Ononadaga County Sheriff’s Office in New York served Krell with a protective order Feb. 26.
Krell continued to contact the woman on the phone, through Facebook and through game apps for smartphones, Bonnett said.
Another warrant was obtained for violation of a protective order for his refusal to cease communication with the victim, Bonnett said.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office lead domestic violence investigator has been handling this case since Feb. 18 and has been in communication with the Ononadaga County Sheriff’s Office.
“This could easily have been a horrific tragedy with the loss of two family members,” St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said in a prepared statement. “We are very grateful that, at this point, it appears the victim will survive this attack.”