DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri said now that he’s had plenty of time to pore over the body camera video from the officer who was shot in the chest Saturday afternoon, he is certain his officers gave the attempted murder suspect several opportunities to peacefully surrender before they returned fire, killing him.
On Monday, the department released the names of the officers involved in the incident. Officer Dominic Besse, who was shot, has been with the department since 2008. Officer Shane Jackson, who has been with DPBD since 2017, suffered head and neck injuries during the shootout, according to police. Holly Hill police Officer Luis Lugo was on scene and also fired his weapon.
Before Besse is shot, he begins to enters the room where the suspect ran to with his assault rifle raised. As the door opens, the suspect is seen on video pointing a gun at the officer but Besse doesn’t fire, instead yelling again, “hands!”
“He gave him several chances,” Capri said. “When he went into the room he gave him a chance, said ’let me see your hands,’ and next thing you see is the suspects arm extended and it’s kind of dark in the room, but you see the muzzle flash go off.”
Capri said suspect Michael Harris fired at least four times, the first time hitting Besse, whose life was saved by his bullet-proof vest.
“We wish we didn’t have to use a type of deadly force, we wish we had time to de-escalate, because we’ve been training de-escalation for years now,” Capri said. “But the suspect didn’t give us an opportunity to de-escalate the situation, he opened fire.”
Besse fell back when he was hit, but then got up and fired through the door into the room where the suspect was holed up.