Syracuse street musician Elijah Harris Jr. killed in double hit-and-run

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — According to Syracuse Police, the victim of a double hit-and-run on Tuesday night has died.

The victim has been identified as 62-year-old Elijah Harris Jr. You may not know his name, but you would probably recognize him if you have been to any sporting or pop culture event in the Syracuse area in the last 30 years.

Elijah was a familiar face with his guitar outside the Carrier Dome, NBT Bank Stadium, the Landmark Theatre and anywhere that Central New York gathered, when we were able to gather.

Elijah brought a little sunshine wherever he opened his guitar case and took center stage.

He grew up in Syracuse and took great pride in his service in the Marine Corps. Throughout life, he scrambled for a living, yet he came out with not one, but two CDs, working with Syracuse University music industry classes.

He was open about struggles with substance abuse, but hosted benefit concerts for veterans and others he felt needed the help more.

Elijah played classics and wrote his own original songs, and urged young people every night to “Stay in school, kids.”

When Elijah accepted the Founder’s Award at the 2019 Syracuse Area Music Awards, Jazz Fest founder Frank Malfitano called him a crowd pleaser who never acknowledged that the city streets he performed on weren’t the main stage at Carnegie Hall.

Calling Elijah a street musician is kind of like calling Picaso a house painter. He’s a performer, he’s a busker, he’s an entertainer, he’s a dancer. He’s a guy that gives you everything he has every time out.

Frank Malfitano

The investigation in the double hit-and-run is active and anyone with information is asked to call the Syracuse Police Department at (315) 442-5130.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Live Doppler 9 Map Center

CNY View

CNY View

CNY View

Oswego Area

Oswego Area

Syracuse Area

Syracuse Area