ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A shooting in St. Petersburg that left an officer injured and a suspect dead remains under investigation.

The detective injured in the shooting is recovering in the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

What You Need To Know

  • Sheriff Gualtieri said the shooting took place after St. Petersburg detectives approached a child abuse suspect

  • According to the sheriff, 20-year-old Dominique Harris tried to flee but was boxed in by officers

  • Gualtieri said Harris shot a detective, and officers returned fire, shooting Harris 38 times

  • The injured detective is expected to recover

  • Harris was pronounced dead at the hospital

On Thursday, Sheriff Gualtieri said the preliminary investigation revealed that six officers fired a total of 50 rounds and struck Dominique Harris 38 times.

Also on Thursday, Harris' mother sent a statement to Spectrum Bay News 9. It reads in part:

“My heart is heavy. My world has been shattered. During this time, I am asking for privacy as myself, my children and the rest of our family cope with this unimaginable loss. I do not want sympathy from anyone, but I do want the truth. I think I, and my son, deserve that at the very least.”

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

According to authorities, the incident happened around 4:17 p.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of 18th Avenue South.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Special Investigative Unit detectives were searching for a 20-year-old man with a warrant out for his arrest in an alleged case of child abuse. According to the sheriff, the detectives found the suspect, Dominique Harris, in the Food Max parking lot and called for backup.

Gualtieri said that when officers approached Harris' car and asked for his identification, he rolled up the window and refused to comply. Then, the sheriff said, Harris put his car in reverse, striking a police cruiser before putting the car in drive and trying to get away.

The sheriff said Harris slammed on the gas and crashed into a civilian's car.

An officer used his vehicle to block Harris' escape.

Gualtieri said Harris reached out of his car with a semi-automatic handgun and pulled the trigger, shooting a detective in the groin area. Another officer managed to get him to safety, and he was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Gualtieri said the injured detective is expected to recover.

Several officers returned fire, and Gualtieri said they continued to do so while the suspect remained a threat, pointing his weapon at the officers and firing at them.

Harris was shot and paramedics took him to the hospital where he died.

Another officer suffered a minor injury but was not shot.

The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force is now looking into what happened. The sheriff said four or five officers will be placed on administraive leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Dominique Harris, 20, seen in a family photo with his mother Nikkie Davenport (Photo courtesy Nikkie Davenport)

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman tweeted that he visited the the injured officer in the hospital, saying he "will continue to pray for his full recovery."


Police officers gather outside Bayfront Health in St. Petersburg, where an officer was taken after being shot on December 12, 2020 (Sarah Blazonis/Spectrum News)

The shooting happened in the same area where neighborhood leaders have been calling for an end to the violence. Our news partners at the Tampa Bay Times are reporting two other deadly shootings have taken place in the same parking lot. According to the Times, a man was killed just last month, on November 14. Another person was gunned down back in September.