Man charged with attempted murder for shots fired on California Avenue in Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —   The Watertown Police Department released the following statement on Thursday afternoon, May 6, 2021:

“Last evening at about 8:53 PM, Dispatch received several complaints of people hearing gunshots near the intersection of California Avenue and State Street in our city. Our uniformed patrols responded to the 100 block of California Ave. and found evidence of multiple shots being fired at 119 California Avenue. The house next door at 121 California appeared to have been struck by a stray bullet.

Officers learned the gunman drove to the street, exited a vehicle, and fired multiple shots at 26-year-old Christen B. Smith, who was in an upstairs window. The gunman immediately fled the scene. Mr. Smith was not injured.

Several officers from the New York State Police and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to assist our officers with the investigation.

On this date we arrested 25-year-old Tajemar M. Brandon after the investigation showed he was responsible for the shooting. We have recovered a handgun, which we believe was used in the crime. Mr. Brandon is being charged with one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a Class B felony and one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a Class C felony. He will be held at the station until he can be arraigned.

Detectives from the Metro Jeff Drug Task Force assisted our uniformed police officers and detectives with the investigation both last night and today.”

He was arraigned and sent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building with bail set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.

Joseph R. Donoghue Sr.
Detective Lieutenant