Father arrested after 3-week-old baby is killed by crossbow

Posted at 1:23 PM, June 27, 2023

COLESVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York man shot his companion with a crossbow while she was holding the couple’s 3-week-old daughter, killing the child and injuring the woman, authorities said.

Patrick Proefriedt mug shot.

Patrick Proefriedt (Broome County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff’s deputies and emergency medical workers responded to a 911 call and found the injured woman and baby at a home in the town of Colesville shortly after 5 a.m. Monday, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The woman told deputies that Patrick Proefriedt, 26, had fired a crossbow at her while she was holding their infant daughter. The broadhead crossbow bolt hit the child in the torso and then struck the woman in the chest, the sheriff’s office said.

Proefriedt removed the bolt and tried to stop the woman from calling 911 then drove away in a pickup truck, sheriff’s office spokesperson Emmanuel Priest said.

Deputies and paramedics attempted lifesaving measures on the baby but she was pronounced dead at the scene, Priest said. The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment. Details on her condition were not available Tuesday.

Police used drones to locate Proefriedt in the woods about a mile from the house, where his truck had become stuck in the mud, Priest said.

Proefriedt was arrested on charges including second-degree murder and attempted murder. He was arraigned Monday night and remained in the custody of the sheriff’s office on Tuesday, Priest said.

A staff member at the Broome County Public Defender’s Office, which represented Proefriedt at his arraignment, said the office had no comment on the charges.

Proefriedt had a history of domestic episodes with the victim and an order of protection was in place, the sheriff’s office said.

“This is one of the most heartbreaking and senseless crimes committed in this community in recent memory,” Sheriff Fred Akshar said. “Our thoughts are with the family of this innocent 3-week-old girl.”