Taskforce Investigation Complete

***Update as of 6:00 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2021***

The State Attorney's Office released the results of their investigation involving the St. Petersburg Police Department officer-involved shooting of 20-year-old Dominque Harris.

In a letter sent to Chief Holloway on Monday, January 25, 2021, State Attorney Bruce Barlett stated, "As a result of the investigation, I have determined that Detective [Redacted], Sergeant [Redacted], Detective [Redacted], Detective [Redacted], Detective [Redacted], and Officer McKee were in the performance of their legal duties when Dominque Harris had defied lawful commands of uniformed police officers, recklessly and intentionally collided with police and civilian vehicles in the parking lot and shot Detective [Redacted] with a firearm, committing the forceful Felony of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer. Each stated law enforcement officer was in fear for their life or the life of Officer [Redacted] when they fired their weapons at Dominque Harris."

The State Attorney's Office concluded that the death of Dominque Harris was justifiable homicide, pursuant to Florida Statute 776.012.

State Attorney's letter with redactions:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OflrbqGBSER_QNn2mUA7QTbQ80BTTZTz/view?usp=sharing

***END OF UPDATE***

Update as of 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2021

On December 2, 2020 the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Taskforce responded to investigate the St. Petersburg Police Department officer-involved shooting of 20-year-old Dominque Harris.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was the Supervising Agency for this Taskforce investigation. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri was responsible for reviewing evidence, supervising the investigation and making determinations.

The findings of that investigation were provided to St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, and can be downloaded at the link provided below.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SMBwbxG51P3xwv-EbLtJBErJ1kuDBTVz/view?usp=sharing

***END OF UPDATE***

***UPDATE as of 5:00 p.m. on December 3, 2020***

On December 3, 2020, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference to discuss updates related to the officer-involved shooting in the City of St. Petersburg.

The sheriff provided additional details to include the purpose of the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force, background information as to why detectives were making contact with the suspect, the suspect’s criminal history, and the St. Petersburg PD officers’ employment histories which are listed below.

SIU Detective 1

White Male, 36 years of age, 14 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  0 Incidents

Was previously involved in two incidents in which his firearm was discharged:

In 2007, he had an accidental discharge of his firearm after being stuck by a vehicle.  The weapon discharged in the air and there were no injuries.

In 2013, the officer and another officer discharged their weapons and killed a suspect during an exchange of gunfire. The suspect was killed. The suspect was wanted for a just occurred homicide. The shooting was ruled justified.

SIU Detective 2 

White Male, 37 years of age, 12 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  0 Incidents

Was previously involved in one incident in which his firearm was discharged:

In 2008, the officer and another officer discharged their weapons and killed a vicious dog. The shooting was ruled justified.

SIU Detective 3 

Black Female, 29 years of age, 2 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  0 Incidents of discipline

No prior shooting incidents.

SIU Detective 4 

White Male, 41 years of age, 13 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  0 Incidents

No prior shooting incidents.

SIU Detective 5 

Black Male, 49 years of age, 28 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  0 Incidents

He was previously involved in two incidents in which his firearm was discharged:

In 2003, he and several other detectives discharged their firearms after a suspect pointed a handgun at them during an armed robbery investigation to a business. The suspect survived. The shooting was ruled justified.

In 2008, he discharged his firearm during an exchange of gunfire with a robbery suspect. The suspect survived. The shooting was ruled justified.

Officer Richard McKee

White Male, 58 years of age, 28 years of service.

5 previous years of discipline:  1 Incident. This disciplinary incident resulted in a 5-day suspension for Improper Procedures and was related to check on/ check-off procedures. 

He was previously involved in one incident in which a firearm was discharged:

In 2010, Officer McKee had an accidental discharge when clearing a firearm that was seized during a search warrant. There were no injuries. 

To view the complete press conference: https://youtu.be/skr2VyxoizY

***End of Update***

***Original Release***

Who:
Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force
-Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
-Clearwater Police Department
-Pinellas Park Police Department

State Attorney’s Office – Sixth Judicial Circuit

St. Petersburg Police Department

Dominque Harris (Suspect – Deceased)
DOB: 6/1/2000

What:
Detectives assigned to the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force are investigating an officer-involved shooting in the City of St. Petersburg.

When:
The shooting occurred at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

Where:
The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Food Max convenience store located at 1400 18th Avenue South in St. Petersburg.

Why/How:
Detectives assigned to the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force are investigating an officer-involved shooting in the City of St. Petersburg.

According to investigators, St. Petersburg Police Detectives assigned to the Special Investigations Unit were attempting to locate 20-year-old Dominque Harris. Harris was wanted on felony Child Abuse charges stemming from an incident in late October 2020. Harris body-slammed a 15-year-old male child during an altercation at an area basketball court.

Through various investigative techniques, St. Petersburg detectives were able to locate Harris at the Food Max convenience store located at 1400 18th Avenue South. Harris parked his vehicle facing the store while a passenger went inside. Uniformed St. Petersburg officers made contact with Harris and positively 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. Having been blocked from escaping, Harris pointed a firearm out of 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 actively fired upon by Harris.

Investigators assigned to the Taskforce say Harris was transported to a local hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and was later pronounced deceased.

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 that officer will be released to the community once their family has been notified. A second officer injured during the incident was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and has been released.

Earlier this year, the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce was created to ensure the investigations conducted into law enforcement use of deadly force are thorough, complete, and objective. The purpose of this taskforce is to make sure that officer-involved shootings in Pinellas County are investigated by an independent agency and not by the agency involved in the use of deadly force.

The officers involved in this shooting will be placed on paid administrative leave as is standard under St. Petersburg Police Department policy.

Sheriff Gualtieri held a press conference at the scene and it can be found on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/PinellasSheriff

The photo below is the actual firearm used by Harris and was found inside of the vehicle he occupied. Next to the firearm is a shell casing offering evidence that Harris fired that weapon at officers.

The investigation continues.

Posted by Travis Sibley Wednesday, December 2, 2020 10:26:00 PM Categories: Death Investigations

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