Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Public safety

Deputies: Father shoots, wounds son during fight at Lutz home

LUTZ — Henry B. Harris wanted to take an evening stroll Saturday with his four pit bulls. He didn't always feel safe walking at night, so he took along his 9mm handgun, too.

But Harris never made it off his property at 18627 San Rio Circle.

Harris, 61, shot his 26-year-old son in the chest after an argument the son was having with his girlfriend escalated to include the father, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

The father told deputies that he shot his son, Eric M. Harris, in self-defense.

The younger Harris, who lived in the home with his father, was transported to a hospital and was described Sunday by the Sheriff's Office as being stable.

Henry Harris has no criminal record, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records, and no charges have been filed in the incident as an investigation continues.

He declined to comment Sunday. Speaking through an open window of his home as his dogs barked behind him, he said, "I'm kind of upset by all of this."

Eric Harris and his girlfriend returned home after Saturday evening's University of South Florida Bulls football game at Raymond James Stadium, according to Larry McKinnon, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Harris was intoxicated, deputies said, and got in an argument with his girlfriend, whose name has not been released.

Henry Harris holds a concealed weapons permit, McKinnon said, and typically takes a gun with him while walking the dogs.

Somehow, detectives said, the father became involved in the argument.

As Henry Harris tried to leave the house, Eric Harris attacked him from behind and put him in a choke hold, McKinnon said. The father told investigators he could not breathe and his arms were beginning to tingle.

He said he broke free, but his son came at him again. That's when he shot Eric Harris once in the chest, McKinnon said.

He and a neighbor called 911 about 11 p.m.

McKinnon said detectives were continuing to investigate and will turn their findings over to the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

State records show Eric Harris has a criminal history. He pleaded guilty Oct. 6, 2004, to two counts of burglary in addition to grand theft and dealing in stolen property, the records show. He received four years of probation and adjudication was withheld.

Henry Harris' mother, Hilda B. Harris, 84, of Tampa, said her son didn't always feel safe in his Lutz neighborhood, but his pit bulls and gun helped him feel safer.

"His neighbors hated the dogs," she said. "He uses them to protect him. My son is very lovable with dogs."

Harris said she wished her son followed her example and sought protection from a higher power.

"I feel protected by Jesus Christ," she said.

Times news researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

He spent 17 years in prison. Now he’s a free man.

TAMPA — Dwight DuBose walked out of the Orient Road Jail on Tuesday night after trading an orange jumpsuit for a brand new polo shirt and slacks. It was about 9 p.m. He flashed a broad smile and hugged staff members of the Innocence Project of...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Pasco teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

Pasco teen killed after SUV runs red light; man who fled scene captured

NEW PORT RICHEY — A 17-year-old girl was killed Tuesday when her car was hit by a sport-utility vehicle that ran a red light, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.One of the occupants of the SUV who ran from the crash scene was captured hours late...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

Days before graduation, crash kills Lakewood High senior, injures two others

ST. PETERSBURG — Caps and gowns were in the future for Bryson Welton-Williams and his two friends.Then came Tuesday’s horrific car crash.The three 18-year-old Lakewood High School seniors drove off from school a few minutes early, just 22 days away f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

He tried to rob two pharmacies. Both times he left empty-handed.

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance video that showed the man in...
Published: 04/24/18
FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

FHP: Riverview motorcyclist critically injured in crash on I-4

TAMPA — A 41-year-old motorcyclist was critically injured in a Monday night crash on Interstate 4, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place at about 7:15 p.m. Cristobal Padilla, of Riverview, was riding a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle in...
Published: 04/24/18
St. Pete police identify man wanted for stealing car — and baby

St. Pete police identify man wanted for stealing car — and baby

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are searching for a 19-year-old man accused of stealing a car left running with an 8-month-old baby left in the back on Monday.The baby was found unharmed by two WFLA-Ch. 8 journalists a short time later, according to St. Pete...
Published: 04/24/18
A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

It started off like a regular pool day at her grandparent’s home. Elianna Grace, 4, and other kids were having fun, blowing water out of pool noodles at each other.Then, as Elianna was blowing water out one end of the noodle, someone else accidentall...
Published: 04/24/18
Buckhorn urged to name woman as fire chief in wake of discrimination suit

Buckhorn urged to name woman as fire chief in wake of discrimination suit

TAMPA — In the wake of a female firefighter’s victory against the city in a discrimination lawsuit, Mayor Bob Buckhorn is being urged to name a high-ranking woman to replace retiring fire Chief Tom Forward.Earlier this month, Buckhorn said he will na...
Published: 04/24/18
Tampa man faces murder charge in September slaying

Tampa man faces murder charge in September slaying

TAMPA — A 68-year-old Tampa man faces a charge of first-degree murder following his arrest Monday in the September death of an Osceola County woman.Evidence from the crime scene led officers to James Jackson, police said.According to police, the body...
Published: 04/24/18
Florida man said sex addiction caused him to attack two women

Florida man said sex addiction caused him to attack two women

CORAL SPRINGS — Police say a security guard arrested in connection with two attacks on women in a Florida neighborhood has told investigators he has a problem. The police report on the Sunday arrest of 25-year-old Dante M. Collins says he admitted tr...
Published: 04/24/18