St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman responds to fatal shooting, says 'he's saddened by the loss of a man’s life'

“I am incredibly thankful for the bravery of these officers, and that they should be okay,” he wrote. “I am also saddened by the loss of a man’s life.”

Screengrab via Mike MrRoadsyde Haze/Facebook

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Facebook to share a message after Wednesday’s fatal shooting of 20-year-old Dominique Harris and the injuries of two police officers.

“I am incredibly thankful for the bravery of these officers, and that they should be okay,” he wrote. “I am also saddened by the loss of a man’s life.”

The shooting occurred Wednesday at about 4:15 p.m. in the parking lot of the Food Max at 1400 18th Ave. S in St. Pete, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO).

“On days like yesterday, it doesn’t matter what we’ve accomplished, how safe St. Pete is, how improved the relationship is between our police departments and our community, or how much work we’ve done to create opportunities for young people,” Kriseman wrote. In a Thursday press conference outside St. Petersburg Police headquarters, Kriseman called the progress the city has made toward improving relations between police and community is “hollow” after an incident like this. 

“Nobody wants to hear about progress when one person is in the hospital, and another person is in the morgue,” he said.

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg Police Detectives were trying to locate Harris who was wanted on felony abuse charges surrounding an incident in which he body-slammed a 15-year-old boy at a basketball court. Detectives identified Harris at the Food Max who then tried to escape by hitting two law enforcement vehicles, a cement barrier and a citizen’s car before firing at detectives and shooting one in the lower torso.

Detectives then fired guns at Harris, the beginning of which was captured in a Facebook video (CW, violence and death). Soon after Harris was transported to a hospital with multiple gunshot wounds and pronounced deceased.

The detective who was shot underwent surgery and is in stable condition, according to PCSO. The identity of the officer has not been released. The second officer sustained minor injuries and has been released from the hospital.

At the Thursday press conference St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway addressed reporters alongside Kriseman and urged residents to “wait for the facts to come out.”

The incident is currently being investigated by the Pinellas County Use of Deadly Force Investigative Taskforce created earlier this year to ensure investigations regarding law enforcement use of deadly force are fair and complete. The officers involved are on paid administrative leave.

Kriseman finished his message by asking citizens to work together to build a fairer, more safe society.

“Our best chance at lasting change, at creating real opportunity, happens when we work together as one community.”

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