Man charged in Saturday homicide in Albany was on parole

ALBANY — The man who allegedly shot three people — one of them fatally — outside a nightclub Saturday was on parole after serving two years for weapon charges.

Shaquille Owens, 25, had been released from prison less than eight months ago, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Owens allegedly opened fire around 12:30 a.m. on Saturday outside Club Phoenix at 348 Central Ave. One of the victims, Joseph Davis, 42, died Monday at Albany Medical Center Hospital.

Davis, an Albany resident, was known to some community members as "Coach Seven," a name he was often referred to by the players on his Albany Pop Warner football team.

Two bystanders were also hit, police said: a 21-year-old woman shot in the leg and a 23-year-old man hit in the torso. Both were treated at Albany Med for non-life-threatening injuries and released.

An online flyer for the party at Club Phoenix promoted several DJs and said college ID was required for entry.

The club operates as a private event space and does not have a liquor license. It is unclear whether Davis was working for the club. Family members could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Owens was initially charged with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The Albany County District Attorney's office is reviewing the case, and Owens' charges are expected to be upgraded.

In September 2013, Owens was stopped by Albany police for littering. When officers approached him, he fled and tossed a .357 handgun. He was arrested for attempted criminal possession of a weapon and sentenced to two years in state prison, according to the DOCCS website.

He went back to prison in 2017 after violating his parole, and was released — again on parole — in March 2018.

Saturday's homicide is the 13th in Albany this year. The last time the city had more than 13 slayings in one year was in 2000.

Steven Smith, a spokesman for the the Albany Police Department, said that most of the shootings have been isolated — crimes between people who knew each other, or caused by a dispute.

The 13 deaths include alleged murder, non-negligent manslaughter and fatal police shooting cases, which are all counted as homicides in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting statistics.

"It's certainly concerning anytime somebody resorts to such violence," Smith said Tuesday.

The highest number of homicides recorded in the past 33 years in Albany was in 1987, which saw 16 deaths, according to FBI data. The city's lowest number, two killings, was recorded in 1998, 2010 and 2016.

Smith said while police cannot predict shootings, one of the best way to prevent violent crime is collaboration between police and members of the community.

"When it comes to come violence, we need members of community to come forward," Smith said. "We need cooperation. It is helpful when we work together to identify individuals in the community who have guns or are likely to resort to violence."

Smith urged people with tips regarding these situations to contact the Albany Police Detective Division at (518) 462-8039 or, for those who wish to remain anonymous, to submit tips to Capital Region Crime Stoppers at