St. Petersburg police officer shot, suspect killed in shootout, authorities say

The 20-year-old suspect was pronounced dead at the hospital

One central Florida police officer was shot and a child abuse suspect killed during a shootout Wednesday, authorities said. 

The St. Petersburg police officer was shot in the 1400 block of 18th Ave. South at 4:17 p.m., the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office told Fox News. 

Another officer suffered minor injuries from the incident that were not the result of gunfire, the St. Petersburg Police Department said. The wounded officer is expected to survive.

The officer who was shot was in surgery, listed as stable and expected to survive. 

The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Dominique Harris, was pronounced dead at a hospital, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told reporters.

Officers with the department's Special Investigation Unit were trying to locate Harris, who was wanted on a child abuse charge. He was found sitting in a parked car outside a store, Gualtieri said. 

Harris' brother was inside the store when plainclothes officers called for uniformed officers to respond. A uniformed officer arrived and asked Harris for his ID, which he handed over. 

"They confirmed that he was the person they were looking for," Gualtieri said. "He rolled the window up on the car and refused their commands to get out."

The officers tried opening the car door and attempted to break a window, authorities said. In an attempt to flee, Harris reversed his vehicle into a police cruiser behind him, accelerated forward, then crashed into a pole in the parking lot, the sheriff said. 

After hitting several vehicles -- marked and unmarked police cruisers and a civilian vehicle -- Harris fired several shots from a handgun out the window and struck a detective, Gualtieri said. The detective was hit in the lower torso and taken to a hospital. 

Around five or six officers returned fire, Gualtieri said. It was unclear how many times Harris was hit or how many rounds were fired during the exchange. 

Authorities recovered a handgun in Harris' car with at least one spent shell casing, "which provides evidence and proof that Harris was shooting at the police officers," Gualtieri said.

The sheriff said the child abuse charge stemmed from an altercation between Harris and a 15-year-old boy at a playground. He allegedly slammed the teenager to the ground. 

The detective's name has not been released. The Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force is investigating the shooting. 


St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said he visited the wounded officer in the hospital. 

"One of our @StPeteFL officers was shot late this afternoon. I spent a moment with the officer at the hospital and will continue to pray for his full recovery," he tweeted. "The County's Use of Deadly Force Investigative Task Force is conducting the investigation."