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Suspect dead after officer-involved shooting in St. Petersburg

Posted at 5:23 PM, Dec 02, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in St. Pete.

The shooting happened around 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday in the parking lot of the Food Max on 18th Avenue South in St. Pete.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said St. Pete police were conducting an investigation into Dominique Harris, 20. He was wanted on a child abuse charge stemming from an incident in October 2020, the sheriff said.

"He slammed a 15-year-old to the ground and it resulted in a felony child abuse charge," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri Sheriff.

A special investigation unit was tasked with finding Harris and taking him into custody. Detectives located him inside his car at the Food Max. Officers approached Harris and confirmed his identity.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Harris then refused to get out of the car and did not listen to commands by police.

"The officers tried to open the car door and couldn't get it open. They attempted to get into the car by breaking the car window," said Gualtieri.

Sheriff Gualtieri said detectives had used their vehicles to block Harris' car. Harris hit a police cruiser and also a concrete pole trying to get away.

"As the detective tried to get out of his car, Harris reached out the window of his vehicle with a semi-automatic handgun and fired rounds at the St. Petersburg detective," said Gualtieri.

Police chief Anthony Holloway said he spoke with the officer who was shot, and he's in good spirits

The other officer who was hurt is recovering from minor injuries but she wasn't actually shot according to St. Pete Police.

That officer had surgery at a local hospital and is in stable condition.

The sheriff said based on preliminary information, six officers fired more than 50 rounds. Harris was hit more than 30 times. Harris was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Gualtieri said inside Harris' car, there was a firearm and at least one spent shell casing "providing evidence and proof that Harris was shooting."

Another officer was injured but is expected to be OK.

He said when officers pulled Harris out of the car, he had a gun in his hand which fell to the floor board of the car.

The shooting comes after renewed calls to stop violence in St. Petersburg. Just last weekend, community members and leaders gathered and marched in the area following a string of shootings.

Their campaign shared the message, 'enough is enough,' while focusing on root causes of crime, recruiting community members and supporting businesses along the 16th St. south corridor.

"We live here, we have to want better for where we lay our head, we need to want better for where our children are growing up," said City Council member Deborah Figgs-Sanders.

"It's heartbreaking and it's very disheartening to have any type of gun violence and as you know the last several weeks have been protesting gun violence that has been happening in this area. So to have gun violence of this magnitude occur tonight, it's heartbreaking and very, very disheartening," said State. Rep. Michele Rayner.

The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave.

The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force is investigating.