Surveillance footage shows fatal shot from car on Pearl Street; Paterson man charged

·2 min read

A brief altercation between two strangers outside a party on Pearl Street in Paterson in the early-morning hours Saturday ended in a killing, according to court documents that detail the alleged shooting involving two city residents.

Trayshaun Harris, 29, has been charged with murder and weapons offenses in the death of Tiheen Smith, 34, based on video surveillance showing a flash from the fatal gunshot allegedly coming from the driver's-side window of Harris' car.

Court documents show that Harris, who acknowledged that the car is his, told police there were two other men in the vehicle at the time, and that the gun was fired by a passenger in the back seat, though police contend the footage shows only Harris entering and exiting the car before and after the killing.

The shooting occurred at about 5 a.m. on Pearl Street, where Harris told police he was parked after returning from a trip to get more drinks for the party, according to an affidavit filed with Paterson Municipal Court.

Smith pulled up near the party in his own vehicle, the document says, and approached Harris on foot.

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Harris told police Smith punched him in the face through the open window of his car, an account police said is supported by surveillance footage.

Then, Smith blocked Harris from opening his car door, which is when the fatal blast can be seen, the affidavit states.

Smith stumbled for a few steps back toward his vehicle before falling to the ground. The Paterson Fire Department rushed him to St. Joseph's University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 12:22 p.m.

Meanwhile, Harris allegedly fled the scene in his car, telling police he made one stop to drop off a passenger at Bridge and Tyler streets, though authorities say surveillance footage shows the car going straight to Harris' home, where he is the only person seen exiting the vehicle.

Harris remains in custody at the Passaic County Jail, where prosecutors have requested he be held pending the outcome of a trial.

If convicted on all charges, Harris could face a prison term of 30 years to life for Smith's killing, and five to 10 years for each weapons offense, prosecutors said.

Nicholas Katzban is a breaking news reporter for To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.


Twitter: @nicholaskatzban

This article originally appeared on Paterson NJ: Surveillance footage shows man shot from car window