Witness Describes Fearful Moments Before Deadly Shooting

(Memphis) Police have identified a man’s body was found in an East Memphis field Tuesday morning as 23-year-old Cortavious Harris.

Memphis Police officers were alerted around 8 a.m. about Harris’ body on American Way and Perkins.

“They were coming through the trees or whatever. They were like ‘pow pow pow tis tis tis,’” Terry Smith, who says he witness the shooting, said.

Smith is terrified to show his face on camera because what he saw Monday night turned into a huge crime scene.

“It was gun shots about six or seven times, multiple you know,” Smith said.

Crime tape and police cars lined the streets at American Way and Perkins after a man was shot and killed.

“It was just burn outs and shootings,” Smith said.

While police are not saying much about the investigation, Smith believes he saw the victim running for his life.

“It wasn’t nothing but him and the shooter. That’s it. He turned the corner that’s all you seen was just him but after that – after the shooting stopped – you didn’t see him no more,” Smith described.

Little did the witness know at the time, the man he saw running had been shot to death and not found until someone alerted police around breakfast time.

“I wish I could’ve seen more but when them bullets started coming through them trees I just got out,” Smith said.  “I was looking for him, but I didn’t see him after the shooting stopped. I thought he, like I said, I really thought he got beyond that point.”

Neighbors made it a point to come outside Tuesday morning to make sense of everything that happened the night before.

“It’s very emotional once you come out your door and you see crime scene tape everywhere and you was outside the time it went on you know you could’ve saved somebody’s life,” Smith said.

However, with bullets flying in the air, there was nothing Smith could do for a man left to die in an empty field

“We got to turn these streets over and turn to God,” Smith said.

Detectives are still working to figure out who shot Harris and why.

20 comments

  • Meka

    Louisville since you and a couple of guys beat, then you too understand you reap what you sow. When you beat that man did you recognize he was mentally ill or did you care. He is at rest now from people like you beating on him and not realizing that he was the one sick and afraid. RIP.

  • Saddened by the crime

    This is sad. My condolensces to the family of this young man. While this is tragic as well, it goes to show the mindset of people who hear all day about robbing and shootings. You become very defensive toward people approaching you when you are afraid. I’m sure the men who beat him didn’t fully know what was going on with him but we can’t put aside the fact that he was committing a crime. I don’t know how extensive his mental illness was. I’m not judging HIM but I am judging his ACTIONS. It’s very hard to assume positive intent from someone when they approach you with a weapon.

    • kimmy

      Sadden by the crime my question to u is who said he approached somebody with a weapon what the hell see y’all don’t need to speak on stuff y’all know nothing about or do u know something to be saying he approaced them with a weapon

  • shemika

    exactly yolanda they did know him but we did and you cant say what you waant about my cousin but if it was your family how would you feel!

  • Harris

    As i read all the negative comments,i will get angry and consumed by the ways of this world.My son is at peace now,safe from harm and free from the wrath of this world.For where he is you too shall be one day,may God have mercy on you.I knew my son and never robbed anybody,so say what you may.You cant beat on him any more,the Lord will take care of those that despitefully hurt people,I dont have to worry,justice will be served. God is higher than earth,he knows and sees it all.Amen

  • shemika

    don’t worry about it cuz dont get angry because these ppl are stupid! and if it was they son, there brother , or they cousin they wouldn’t be saying that no what he did he didnt deserve to be killed like that! and im glad my cousin knew the Lord thats why i know he’s with the Lord! People dont understand and dont care to understand so fuck them

  • Kimmy

    Argent furor u are and sound so stupid its because of people u in this world that stuff like this happens but remember u gotta die one day to so I hope u pray to God that it don’t be like this somebody chase u down and kill u and leave u in the streets to die u dummy.I will be praying for u cause u need it hunny

  • Prayer Team

    Please STOP ALL THE MADNESS!!! SOMEBODY ELSE JUST LOST THEIR LIFE AGAIN IN OUR CITY.IT JUST NEED TO STOP EVERYBODY HAS THEIR COMMENTS WHEN WE ALL NEED TO BE PRAYING AND THANKFUL THAT WE’RE STILL HERE!

  • Yolanda

    This was somebody”s family member. if he was a criminal or not. Who are you to judge thats whats wrong with this world now. Too many ignorant people casting judgement on others. I ‘m almost certain you didn”t do everything right in your life.

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