STRONG, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — A mother and daughter are sharing their story of survival with us after being shot by the mother’s ex-boyfriend last month.
“It was nothing but God. Nothing but God. It was just him keeping me,” Edwina Howard said. “The whole time I was there that’s all I did was pray and ask for angels and whatever demon was there I was asking for it to flee.”
Howard vividly recalls the night of August 18th. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend of six years, Lovell Govan Jr., because she caught him with another woman.
Conversation was limited the week of the break-up but she said Govan insisted on visiting her that night because he wanted to grab some of his things.
“He has always told me I was the first woman he’s never fought that he’s been with,” she said. “So, I texted my uncle and I told him to come over.”
Govan arrived at her home about 20 minutes later. When he came inside the house, Howard says she was putting a mirror up in her bathroom.
He helped her with that while asking her if they would get married but Howard says she kept telling me that she no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him.
Minutes later, Howard and her uncle were both sitting in the living room while Govan was in her bedroom.
“He let us get our guard down because he said he was going to go fix the kids’ bathroom because he knew it needed a part in the toilet,” she said. “My uncle and I continued sitting there.”
Around 12:30 a.m., Howard says she and her uncle went to the store to get a coke. Her uncle left to go home and when she came back inside the house, that’s when Govan started shooting at her.
“He was sitting in my living room on the couch. I hung my key on the wall and I walked over and I said here’s your coke. When I handed him the coke, he pulled the gun out while pointing it at me and said ‘I told you,”’ Howard recalled.
She then ran to her daughter’s room who was also home at the time. As she ran down the hallway she screamed “he has a gun.”
When he finally made it to her daughter’s bedroom, she says he then pulled out two guns and started shooting.
“I know we were standing up at first and I think the first shot was in my arm and then we ended up falling across the bed and rolling on the floor. I remember the shot in the my neck and I remember the shot in my eye because I remember screaming,” Howard said.
“I asked him why he was doing this and I told him I had children to live for and he told me I wasn’t going to be with anyone else and that me and him were going to be it.”
Daylan was also shot at least twice during the incident. Howard remembers Govan saying he wasn’t trying to shoot Daylan he was only trying to shoot Howard.
All night, Howard and her daughter were both asking to get some help to treat their gunshot wounds but they said Govan wouldn’t budge.
“We sat near the back wall and around 6 o’clock that morning he said ‘it’s 6 o’clock and you’re still breathing,” she recalled.
Around 10 a.m. is when Govan said he would get them help. He told them to get dressed and as they were walking to the door around 11 a.m., he saw there were people outside and he demanded they sit back down inside the house.
Around noon, her niece, Kashuna Howard, called her twice but Howard wasn’t able to answer the phone. Shortly after, Kashuna and her son went to the house. He allowed her inside but wouldn’t let her leave.
While Govan was keeping the four of them inside the home, Howard said multiple people came to the house including three of Daylan’s friends but they all sat quietly inside the living room while Govan asked her friends to come back at a later time.
Howard said eventually he told them he would let them all go when it got dark but wanted Howard to stay to make it seem like a “murder-suicide”.
Moments later, he got up and came back with a box knife.
“He sat down in front of me and said he would slice my throat and he knew I would die since the bullets didn’t kill me.”
Howard said he put the box knife and the gun down and started looking at his phone. Kashuna watched him and seconds later ran down the hallway and out of the door.
“When she ran out the door, he came back in the house. He stood in front of me and said ‘I’m sorry’. He pointed the gun at me and he shot me in my right shoulder.”
Then, he pointed the gun at my 4-year-old nephew and I grabbed him. I put my arm down and he shot and the bullet hit me in my other shoulder.
Then, he pointed at Daylan and shot and the bullet hit her. That’s the bullet that has to be removed from her chest.”
Govan left the home in Kashuna’s car, which sat running in the driveway for hours. Howard says they then locked the front door and ran out of the back door to a neighbor’s home to call police.
She was suffering from 8 gunshots wounds for more than 15 hours while her daughter was suffering from two.
Howard was shot a total of 10 times, twice in her eye, neck and shoulder and once in her abdomen and in her chest. The other bullet went to her left arm which has lost most of its feeling.
“I still have a bullet in my shoulder that they can’t remove right now because with me not having movement in my left arm and shoulders, they want me to go to therapy to try to get those nerves back working,” she said.
Daylan will go to the doctor on September 24th to remove a bullet that landed in her chest. She was shot a total of three times, twice in the arm and once in the right shoulder.
“If I had just let go a long time ago this might not have happened. I was just trying to be that person and hopefully I could fix it all. Once they show you who they are believe them,” she said.
In their six years together, she experienced so much verbal abuse that she never saw the physical abuse coming.
“I always told him I thought I was never enough for him because if I was he would never do the things that does,” she said.
“He mentally abused me all the time with words that a person would never say to a person they truly love. I’m not the arguing type and when I don’t say anything back he just sweeps it under the rug.”
Howard has been home for three weeks now and she says her family has recieved so much support from the community.
DJ Dezz, a Strong native, hosted a virtual party on social media which raised almost $1,700 and friends have set up a go fund me page as well as an account at Simmons Bank in Strong for those that would like to help the family financially.
Howard says all of the support is what’s been getting them through these tough times. Even her 11-year old son and 7-year-old daughter having been harshly affected.
They weren’t at home the night of the shooting incidents but her son only wishes he was there to protect them both. Now, he won’t leave their side.
As the road to recovery is long for Howard, her daughter Daylan, is expected to finish out her senior year of high school.
They are both still trying to figure out the purpose in the pain they endured and despite what they went through, their scars aren’t just a reminder of what happened but a blessing for what’s to come.
UPDATE: Mother and daughter recover from injuries, UCSO still search for man wanted on multiple charges including attempted murder and kidnapping
UPDATE: STRONG, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Family members identified two of the shooting victims at 39-year-old, Edwina Howard and her 17-year-old daughter, Daylan Howard.
The mother was taken to a Little Rock hospital. Family members say she was shot a total of four times, once in the face, though none of her vital organs were damaged. She is stable and is being treated in the intensive care unit.
The teen was treated at the Medical Center of South Arkansas for a bullet that grazed her shoulder and a head injury. It’s not clear what type of injury she sustained to the head.
Sheriff’s deputies are still looking for the man they believe shot the pair, kept them inside their residence and also prevented two of Howard’s family members from leaving the home when they came to visit mid-day on Wednesday
If you see Govan, do not approach him. Call your local law enforcement office or call USCO at 870-864-1900.
UPDATE: Strong shooting suspect identified, deemed armed and dangerous
UPDATE: STRONG, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Deputies have confirmed that a mother and her juvenile daughter were injured in Thursday night’s shooting in Strong, Arkansas.
According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the 100 block of North Hickory Street in response to a shooting that involved two victims.
When deputies arrived, they found a 39-year-old female with multiple gunshot wounds and her 17-year-old daughter with at least two wounds.
A third, uninjured victim identified the shooter as 46-year-old Lovell Govan Jr., of Huttig, and told police that he was the ex-boyfriend of the 39-year-old victim.
According to that third victim, Govan had been waiting in the victim’s house when she and her daughter arrived home the night before. Govan allegedly shot both of the victims and then held them at the home.
The third victim told deputies that she and her 4-year-old daughter stopped at the home to speak with the victims but was met at the door by Govan. He allegedly led them into the home and then pulled a gun, preventing them from leaving the home as well.
Deputies say that several hours later the victim ran fled to a neighbor’s home to call 911 while the suspect was distracted. During this, the other victims fled through the back door as well. The 39-year-old victim was shot once again by Govan, striking her in the face. Govan then left the area in the third victim’s vehicle and was believed to be heading south.
The 39-year-old victim was taken by helicopter from the Medical Center of South Arkansas (MCSA) to Little Rock while her daughter was treated and released from the MCSA.
Govan is now wanted for multiple counts of Attempted Capital Murder, Kidnapping, Burglary, and Theft of Property.
The last known vehicle driven by the suspect is a silver 2014 Mazda 6 with an Arkansas license plate that reads 386YDR.
Govan, who is also known as “Boomer”, is known to have family and friends throughout North Louisiana and South Arkansas. He is considered armed and dangerous.
If you see Govan, do not approach him. Call your local law enforcement office.
STRONG, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — Sheriff Ricky Roberts with the Union County Sheriff’s Office confirms that two people have been taken to the hospital following a shooting in Strong, Arkansas.
According to Sheriff Roberts, the shooting happened on Wednesday afternoon along Hickory Street. Two people were injured during the shooting and were taken to the Medical Center of South Arkansas for treatment.
The gunman, who has not been identified as of yet, is still on the run and is considered armed and dangerous.
We will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.