PATERSON, N.J. – A police officer responding to a report of a fight found that the mortally wounded victim was his son.
Officer Wayne Smith was working a night shift early Easter morning when he was called to the scene and pushed his way through the blood-spattered crowd.
Someone yelled, "Wayne, that's your son, Dayshawn. He just got stabbed."
"It went right to my heart," Smith told the Herald News of West Paterson in an interview published Tuesday. "My adrenaline pumped up more. I ran up to him, but he was lifeless."
Dayshawn Smith (search), 20, had been stabbed in the chest just after 3 a.m. Sunday. Authorities said he was wounded as he tried to break up a fight.
Officer Smith said he held his son and helped medical personnel try to revive him.
"Dayshawn," he recalled saying. "It's Dad! I'm right here! Wake up! Come on! Let's do this!"
Dayshawn Smith died at 6:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center (search).
Officer Smith, 41, said his son won trophies running track and playing football in high school but had dropped out and began drifting. He worked at a mall food court.
"He was just a person working to support himself, and trying to find himself out there, to find a place in society where he could be happy," Smith said.
Police on Tuesday were still searching for the man believed to be responsible, Rashawn Capers, 23, who faces murder and weapons charges. Capers also is accused of attempted murder in the stabbing of a 17-year-old during the fight, authorities said.