Driver working a second job shot to death while delivering ice cream, his new car stolen

Months later police ask for public’s help in Paris-James Smith’s shooting death
Paris-James Smith, 24, was shot to death on May 27 in DeKalb County.

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

Paris-James Smith, 24, was shot to death on May 27 in DeKalb County.

In the weeks before his death, Paris-James Smith had earned a promotion yet was still working a second job to earn extra money.

In addition to his job with Amazon, which had just made him a supervisor, he was working part-time for Gopuff, a food delivery service. He’d driven an older SUV for years and with the additional earnings, he had been able to buy a white 2019 Nissan Altima.

Early on May 27, Smith drove the newly purchased car to deliver ice cream to a home in the Oakwood Manor subdivision off Redan Road, according to DeKalb County police. Investigators believe he was followed by at least two suspects, who shot and killed him and stole the Nissan, which still had a temporary tag. He was 24.

“I hope someone will come forward with information or turn themselves in,” said the victim’s mother, Chicana Smith. Today is her birthday, the first without her firstborn.

#PressPlay to watch a short video on an unsolved homicide from 2022 that we are investigating. #WeAreDKPD

Posted by DeKalb County Police Department on Saturday, September 3, 2022

The DeKalb County Police Department hadn’t discussed the case until Saturday, when the agency posted a video about it.

“No witnesses have come forward and we are asking for the public’s help for any information on the perpetrators in this incident,” a spokeswoman said in the video. The victim’s Nissan hasn’t been found.

Chicana Smith is eager for answers and notes that whoever is responsible is still on the run.

“I think that the public needs to be aware,” she said. “You don’t think it will happen to you. This may not be isolated. It could happen to them.”

In the months since her son’s death, Smith has heard from many whose lives he touched. It helps ease some of the pain she and her 17-year-old daughter feel.

“He was amazing,” she said. “He was very patient. He was very smart and sensitive and sensed things that were going on with people.”

Born in DeKalb County, Paris-James graduated with honors from Newton High School and attended Georgia State University. In the winter, he bought blankets to donate to homeless people. He dabbled in hip-hop music, his lyrics reflecting his faith. His tattoos honored his mother, late father and grandmother, and he loved to travel. He was to have relocated to Texas for his new Amazon role, something his mother learned after he died. He was killed before he got to tell her the good news.

The family treasures some of his last words, penned to a niece he’d never meet. Four days before his death, Paris-James Smith wrote a letter to his cousin’s unborn baby and a note to his cousin’s fiancé, thanking him for taking care of the mother-to-be. When the baby girl arrived a month after Smith’s death, she was named after her late uncle.

“He was always telling me he wanted to make me proud,” Chicana Smith said. “I would tell him, ‘Paris, you always make me proud.’”

Anyone with information on Smith’s death is asked to contact DeKalb police homicide detectives at 770-724-7850. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers Atlanta. at 404-577-8477, text information to 274637 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.