A St. Petersburg police officer was wounded and a child-abuse suspect was killed in a shootout in the parking lot of a St. Petersburg convenience store on Dec. 2.
According to investigators, St. Petersburg Police detectives were attempting to locate 20-year-old Dominique Harris, who was wanted on felony child-abuse charges stemming from an incident in late October. Harris is accused of body-slamming a 15-year-old male during an altercation at an area basketball court.
Detectives located Harris about 4:15 p.m. at the Food Max convenience store at 1400 18th Ave. S. Harris parked his vehicle facing the store while his brother, a passenger, went inside. St. Petersburg officers made contact with Harris and identified him as the suspect they were seeking.
Investigators say Harris attempted to escape by ramming two law enforcement vehicles, a cement barrier belonging to the convenience store, and a citizen's vehicle.
Blocked from escaping, Harris pointed a firearm out the driver's side window and began firing at detectives. One St. Petersburg detective suffered a gunshot wound to the lower torso.
Several St. Petersburg detectives began firing their weapons while they were being fired upon by Harris. The suspect suffered multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead.
The detective who was shot was also transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is currently in stable condition. The identity of the officer will be released once family has been notified.
In a press conference at the scene, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the shooting of the officer occurred in “very, very, very close quarters. I would almost call it point-blank range. We’re all very fortunate that it wasn’t worse.”
A second officer suffered minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital. That officer was treated and has been released.
Harris’ brother was detained but was not charged.
The officers involved in the shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave as is standard under St. Petersburg Police Department policy.
The incident is being investigated by the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force.